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Hebrew Glossary - N



































(nah-KHAHSH) n. Serpent; Snake. Note that the verb nachash means to practice divination or sorcery. References: Gen. 49:17; Deut. 8:15; 1 Sam. 11:1f; 12:12; 2 Sam. 10:2; 17:25, 27; 1 Chr. 4:12; 19:1f; Job 26:13; Ps. 58:5; 140:4; Prov. 30:19; Eccl. 10:8; Isa. 14:29.


(NA-khat) n. Fulfillment; Joy and Pride over something. Yiddish spelling: Naches.


(nah-KHOHN) adj. Correct; right; Nechonut means correctness or willingness.


(nah-GEED) n. Prince; Leader. Samuel Ha-Nagid was a famous medieval Jewish sage (993-1056) in Mulim Spain.


(nah-KHOR) n. Nahor. Grandfather of the patriarch Abraham (Gen 11:22); 2) Son of Terah and brother of the patriarch Abraham (Gen 11:26).


(nah-KHOOM) n. 1) Nahum, book of the Nevi'im in the Tanakh. 2) A messenger to Judah during her declining years, Nahum foretells the doom of the Assyrian empire. Nachum means "Consolation," or "Comforter."

Names of God

(she-MOHT ha-e-loh-HEEM) n. pl. The names and Titles of God.


(NAF-tah-lee) n. Tribe of Israel descended from a son of the Patriarch Ya'akov.


(nah-FEEL) n. Giant; Plural is nephilim.


(nats-ROOT) n. Christianity. The religion that evolved from the tenets given by Yeshua ha Mashiach. Sometimes transliterated as Natzrut. A Christian is called notzri.


(nah-VEE) n. Prophet; a spokesperson for YHVH who delivered his God's messages and expressed his intentions toward the world (Deut. 13:1-5; 18:9-22; Amos 3:7; etc.). Plural form nevi'im. A female prophet is neviah (pl. nevi'ot).


(nah-VOHN) adj. Understanding; discerning (from the preposition bein, between).


(notz-REEM)  n.  1) A member of a group of Jews who (during the early history of the Christian Church) accepted Yeshua as the Messiah but only accepted the Gospel of Matthew as canonical Scripture. In other words, the earliest Nazarenes rejected the lettters of the apostle Paul and continued to follow Jewish law and celebrate Jewish holidays as a means of sanctification. Later this group came to be known as the Ebionites. 2) A person from the City of Nazareth. The statement "he shall be called a Nazarene" (Matt. 2:23) simply means that Yeshua would come from the city of City of Nazareth (נְצָרֶת), a backwater town that would hold no weight among the religiously biased Jews of Jerusalem. After all, in numerous places Yeshua is called ᾽Ιησοῦν τὸν Ναζωραῖον ("Jesus of Nazareth"), which would be rendered יֵשׁוּעַ הַנָּצְרִי in Hebrew. The Apostle Paul was accused of being a "ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes"(Acts 24:5).  In the Talmud, Yeshua the Messiah is likewise referred to as Yeshu Hannotzri (Yeshu of the City of Nazareth).

Note that this term is sometimes confused with others. A Nazarite (נְזִיר) was a Jew who had taken vows of dedication to God whereby he abstained (for a specified period of time) from using alcohol and grape products, cutting his hair, and approaching corpses. The Netzer (נֵצֶר) is the "branch" or "sprout" of David mentioned in Isa. 11:1, 60:21.  In modern Hebrew, the term "Notzri" (נוצרי) is the general word for "Christian" (i.e., a one of the Messianic believers in Yeshua, or meshichim (מְשִׁיחִיִּים).


(nah-TSE-ret) n. Nazareth; Natseret; A town in the Galil where Yeshua the Messiah grew up. The first believers in Jesus were known as Nazarenes. Nazareth had the reputation of being a generally ungodly place of wickedness.

Nazareth, Jesus of

(ye-SHOO-ah mee-ne-TSE-ret) phr. "Jesus from Nazareth." Also Yeshua ha-Notzri. Nazareth is an ancient town in the North District in Israel and the childhood home of Jesus (Matt. 2:23; 4:13; 21:11; 26:71; Mark 1:9, 24; 10:47; 14:67; 16:6; Luke 1:26; 2:4, 39, 51; 4:16, 34; 18:37; 24:19; John 1:45f; 18:5, 7; 19:19; Acts 2:22; 3:6; 4:10; 6:14; 10:38; 22:8; 26:9).  According to the New Testament, Nazareth was the home of Joseph and Mary and the site of the Annunciation, when Mary was told by the Angel Gabriel that she would have Jesus as her son. Nazareth is also assumed to be where Jesus grew up from his infancy to manhood. The town, even in Jesus' day, was known for its unbelief and general wickedness (e.g., John 1:46; Mark 6:5; esp. Luke 4:16-29).

Nazareth is said to derive from netzer, meaning a "shoot" or "sprout" (or derives from natzar meaning to guard or watch [Exod. 34:7; Job 7:20; 27:18; Psa. 31:24; 34:14; Prov. 3:21; 4:23; 6:20; 13:3; 16:17; 27:18; Isa. 60:21]) but is not to be confused with the word Nazarite (nazir), or torat hanazir, which are laws concerning vows of separation given in the Torah (Num. 6:2, 13, 18ff; Judg. 13:5,7; 16:17).

What, then, do we make of Matt. 2:23 where it says, "And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled: "He shall be called a Nazarene"?  What verse in the Nakh (prophets) is Matthew quoting here?

None.  This is not a direct quotation of a particular prophet (as the word "prophets" clearly indicates), but instead points out that Jesus' designation as a Nazarene was a term of reproach, and it is this reproach and rejection that was indeed foretold by the prophets (e.g., Ps. 22:6; Isa. 49:7; 53:3; Dan. 9:26). In fact, the Talmud uses the term "Yeshu haNotzri" as a villification of the Son of God, and this usage is still seen among religious Jews who despise the Mashiach.


(nah-ZEER) n. Nazirite; One dedicated to God by vow involving abstinence from wine and from cutting the hair for a specific period of time in dedication to the LORD (i.e., the Jewish ascetic). The word nazir means "consecrated" or "separated." To become a Nazirite (no relation to Nazarene), a person (male or female) must take a vow of nezirut (Nazirite vow). This involved refraining from three things:

  1. Wine or any kind products of the grape vine (e.g., grapes, raisins, wine vinegar). Apparently there is no prohibition for the nazirite to drink alcoholic beverages not derived from grapes, for example, fermented apple cider, though the prohibition against "strong drink" (shekhar) is clearly stated.
  2. Cutting the hair (for a specific period of time)
  3. Contact with a corpse (including one's own family members)

Note that if any of these conditions are not kept while under the vow, the nazir must begin his or her time of consecration all over again. For example, if a nazir accidentally becomes tamei during a 30 day nezirut, he must wait the seven required days to become tahor (pure) again, offer korbonot on the eighth day, and begin the 30 day vow all over again, from the beginning.

After the period of the vow ended, the Nazirite would shave his head and burn his or her hair on the fire of one of the korbonot (a special room in the Temple (called lishkat nezirim) was devoted to the shaving of nazir). A number of additional offerings, including a chatat (sin) offering, was then given to the LORD (Numbers 6:10-21).

While most Nazirite vows were temporary (usually 30 to 100 days), some were Nazirites from birth to death (e.g., Samson (Judges 13:7) and John the Baptist (Luke 1:15-17)). Interestingly, the Apostle Paul himself also took a Nazirite vow (Acts 18:18, 21:22-26), thus demonstrating his allegiance to Torah observance as a follower of Jesus. Note that according to halakhah (Rabbinical law), a Jew can become a nazir only in eretz Yisrael.


(ne-khoosh-TAHN) n. The brass serpent;


(ne-dah-VAH) n. Donation; freewill offering. Nedivut is generosity.

Neder / Nedarim

(NE-der / ne-dah-REEM) n / n. pl. Vow; oath. Occurs in the lists of sacrifices (e.g. Deut 12:6, 11) as a type of peace offering (Lev 7:16). In Num 30:3 "nadar a neder" can mean to swear to God with an oath (Psa 132:2) and to bind one's self with what proceeds from one's mouth. A neder is something promised to God verbally (Num 30:4 [H5]). If one so promises he is obliged to fulfill/do his promise (Deut 23:22).

[From Theological Wordbook of the OT]: "To make vows was not a religious duty (Deut 23:21-23 [H 22-24]). Such vows were acceptable to God (Psa 50:8). He makes it clear, however, that he is not being fed or tended (Psa 50:9-13) as paganism thought (cl A. Leo Oppenheim, Ancient Mesopotamia, University of Chicago, 1964, p. 183ff). Vows were supererogatory acts of devotion and love contracted either preceeding (Psa 50:14) or following divine blessing (Psa 116:17-18). They were accompartied by joy (Nah 1:5 [H 2.1] and/or singing (Psa 61:8 [H 9]), and were acceptable only if iniquity was not cherished in the offerer's heart (Psa 66:18; cf. Prov 7:14)." The Messiah was also bound by vow to offer himself a sacrifice for sin (Psa 22:25 [H 26]; cf. Lev. 27:2ff) -the only human sacrifice truly "acceptable" to God.

Yeshua taught us not to make vows to God (Matt. 12:36-37).

Nedivut (lev)

(ne-dee-VOOT) n. Generosity; nedivut lev is the middah of having a generous heart. Nedavah is a donation.


(ne-'e-MAHN) adj. Trustworthy; reliable; faithful.


(NE-fesh) n. Nefesh; self; soul; innermost part. In Kabbalistic anthropology, there are actually five levels or types of soul:

  1. Nefesh (נֶפֶשׁ): the lower or "animal" aspect of the soul, common to other creatures.
  2. Ruach (רוּחַ): the middle soul or "spirit" that is able to distinguish right from wrong.
  3. Neshamah (נְשָׁמָה): the higher soul or "super-soul" that is the locus of rationality and spiritual life. The "Neshamah Yeterah" is the "additional soul" that a Jew can experience during Shabbat.
  4. Chayyah (חַיָּה): The soul beginning to apprehend the divine unity; the soul created before Adam's transgression (Gen. 2:7).
  5. Yechidah (יְחִידָה): the highest plane of the soul when the ego loses all differentiation with the divine unity.

Negative Commandment

(meets-vaht loh ta-'a-say) n. Negative commandment (of the 613 commandments of the Torah); prohibition. A "thou shall not" commandment or prohibition. These commandments are required for women to observe (except those explicitly identified for the kohanim). According to Maimonides, there are 365 of these commandments, corresponding to the number of days in the solar year.  Note also that many positive commandments (mitzvot aseh) correspond to the negative commandments (e.g., cp. Ex. 20:8, 20:10; 23:12).


(NE-gev) n. a desert in southern Israel; South; southern region of Israel.


(ne-GEE-ah) n. "Touch." "Contact" (esp. physical). Shomer Negiah is a concept in Jewish law that prohibits any degree of physical contact with, or touching of, a member of the opposite sex (except for one's spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, and grandparents). A person who abides by this code of conduct is described as Shomer Negiah - "guarding the touch." Being shomer negiah is to practice being tzeniut (modesty).


(ne-khem-YAH) n. Nehemiah: book of the Ketuvim in the Tanakh. Nechemyah means "consolation of God."


(ne-kay-VAH) adj. Feminine (as in grammatical gender). (Zachar is masculine.)


(ne-koo-DAH) n. An individual vowel mark (i.e., Qamets). Vowel point or dot.


(ne-fee-LEEM) n. Giants (Gen 6:4). The word may also be derived from a root signifying "wonder," and hence "monsters." If you saw a Nephillim, you would nafal -- fall down -- in fear of them...

Ner Tamid

(nayr tah-MEED) n. Ner Tamid; Perpetual Lamp; Ex. 27:20; Lev 24:2: lamp burning in the Mishkan (tabernacle); now used as a continual light placed before the aron kodesh in the synagogue.

Nes / Nissim

(nays / nees-SEEM) n. Miracle(s). (A great nes happened there.)

Nes Nistar

(nays nees-STAHR) n. Nes Nistar (נֵס נִסְתָר). A hidden miracle, a term sometimes used to describe the story of Purim and other special deliverances of the Jewish people.

Nesekh Offering

(NE-sekh) n. Wine offering; drink offering; libation. Gen. 35:14; Num. 28:7.
From TWOT: "Jacob was the first to be referred to as presenting a drink offering (cf. Gen 35:14). But it was not until after the Exodus from Egypt that the laws governing the n¢sek were established. As a rule, a drink offering was to be presented along with burnt offerings and cereal offerings (Exo 29:40; Lev 23:13; Num 15:1-10). The amount of wine was specified at one-fourth hin for each lamb (Num 15:5), one-third hin for each ram (Num 15:6-7) and one-half hin for each bull (Num 15:8-10). Although King Ahaz built a new altar according to a pagan design, he seems to have conformed to pentateuchal legislation by pouring out his drink offering at the time he offered his burnt offering and cereal offering (2Kings 16:10-16)."


(ne-shah-MAH) n. Soul; Breath of life; spirit; living being. In Kabbalistic anthropology, there are actually five levels or types of soul:

  1. Nefesh (נֶפֶשׁ): the lower or "animal" aspect of the soul, common to other creatures.
  2. Ruach (רוּחַ): the middle soul or "spirit" that is able to distinguish right from wrong.
  3. Neshamah (נְשָׁמָה): the higher soul or "super-soul" that is the locus of rationality and spiritual life. The "Neshamah Yeterah" is the "additional soul" that a Jew can experience during Shabbat.
  4. Chayyah (חַיָּה): The soul beginning to apprehend the divine unity; the soul created before Adam's transgression (Gen. 2:7).
  5. Yechidah (יְחִידָה): the highest plane of the soul when the ego loses all differentiation with the divine unity.

Neshamah Yeterah

(ne-shah-MAH ye-tay-RAH) n. נְשָׁמָה יְתֵרָה, lit. an "additional (or enlarged) soul"; an extra blessing given during Sabbath observance.

Nesi'at Kappayim

(ne-see-AT kap-PAI-yeem) Lifting up the hands (priest's blessing); Aaronic blessing.

Netilat Yadaim

(ne-tee-LAT ya-DAI-yeem) n. Handwashing. Also, the blessing recited upon ritual handwashing ceremonies or upon arising and bathing. Click here for more information about the blessing.


(NE-tser) n. Branch (Isaiah 11:2); descendant.


(ne-vee-EMM) n. Prophets. Second main division of the Tanakh. The Nevi'im, or Hebrew prophetical books, are subdivided into two major parts: four books of the "Former" prophets and 15 books of the "Latter" prophets. Weekly readings are called Haftarah portions:

  • Former Prophets
  • Latter Prophets

Nevi'im Acharonim

(ne-vee-eem a-kha-roh-NEEM) n. Latter Prophets. Part of the Nevi'im of the Tanakh consisting of the three main prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel) and the Twelve Minor prophets (trei asar):

  • Yesha'yahu (Isaiah)
  • Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah)
  • Yechezk'el (Ezekiel)
  • The Minor Prophets (trei asar)
    • Hoshe'a (Hosea)
    • Yo'el (Joel)
    • Amos (Amos)
    • Ovadyah (Obadiah)
    • Yonah (Jonah)
    • Mikhah (Micah)
    • Nakhum (Nahum)
    • Havakuk (Habakkuk)
    • Tzefanyah (Zephaniah)
    • Chagai (Haggai)
    • Z'kharyah (Zechariah)
    • Mal'akhi (Malachi)

Nevi'im Rishonim

(ne-vee-eem a-kha-roh-NEEM) n. Former Prophets. Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings. Part of the Nevi'im of the Tanakh:

  • Yehoshua (Joshua)
  • Shof'tim (Judges)
  • Shemu'el Alef/Bet (1st/2nd Samuel)
  • Melakhim Aleph/Bet (1st/2nd Kings)


(ne-voo-AH) n. Prophecy.

New Creation

(be-ree-ah kha-dah-SHAH) n. New Creation: "From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come" (2 Cor. 5:16-17).

New Testament

(be-REET kha-da-SHAH) n. New Testament. B'rit Chadashah means "New Covenant." Like the Tanakh, it can be divided into three main parts: Gospels/Acts (corresponding to Torah), Letters (corresponding to Ketuvim), and Revelation (corresponding to Nevi'im). The "Old Testament" is called b'rit yeshanah.

New Year

(rohsh hash-shah-NAH) n.Rosh Hashanah; New Years day. The Jewish New Year commemorating the creation of the universe; universal day of judgment. Falling on the first and second days of the month of Tishri when Jews examine their actions of the preceding year. The blowing of the ram's horn is prophetic of the rapture of the ekklesia or church.

New Year (Biblical)

(rosh kho-de-SHEEM) n. Biblical New Year's Day (Nisan 1); Lit. the "head of the months," so named because it is the month of redemption, the month of the Exodus of the Jewish People from slavery in Egypt, which is considered so important that all the other months are ordered in relation to its ocurrence. This day is also sometimes called haChodesh HaRishon.

Since their deliverance from the bondage of Egypt was like the birth of an entire nation, the LORD declared that the Jewish calendar (luach) would begin on the New Moon (Rosh Chodesh) of the month marking their deliverance, namely, Aviv, meaning "spring" (when the Jews adopted the Babylonian calendar during their Exile they renamed the month "Nisan" (Neh. 2), from an Akkadian word probably meaning "first fruits").

Next Year in Jerusalem!

(lash-SHA-NAH hab-BAH-ah bee ye-ROO-shah-LAI-yeem) n. phr. "Next year in Jerusalem," said with joy after a Passover Seder (or other holiday) when celebrated in the Galut (or Diaspora).


(nak-dee-moon) n. Nicodemus. Parush, member of the Sanhedrin and "teacher in Israel" John 3:1.


(need-DAH) n./adj. Menstruous; filthy. Niddah is used in Rabbinic Judaism to refer to the regulations and rituals concerning menstruation, and a woman is said to be a niddah when she is menstruating, or has menstruated without yet completing the associated ritual requirements (i.e., mikveh bath). The Biblical requirement of niddah is seven days from the beginning of the menstrual period, though Orthodox Judaism adds another seven days to play it safe (i.e., 14 days per month are marked by abstention of sexual relations). Niddah is also a category of Jewish law concerning sexual matters, referred to as family purity (taharat mishpacha). Being shomer niddah, being kashrut (kosher) in diet, and observing Shabbat and Holy Days are the mark of being an Orthodox Jew.


(neef-LAH) adj. Wonderful.


(neeg-GOON) n. Niggun; Traditional musical theme for a given service or festival. Also, Bim-Bam improvisational singing (zemirot). A Chassidic melody, often repeated several times, which is intended to express and stir one's soul.


(neek-KOOD) n. Niqqud. Punctuation (plural is nikkudot). A nekudah is a punctuation mark or individual vowel mark.


(nee-SAN) n. The twelfth month of the Hebrew calendar, the spring month in which Pesach falls at the full moon.


(nees-sah-YOHN) n. Test; trial; a challenge, esp. in one's service to God (such as the Akedat Yitzchak - the sacrifice of Isaac). The verb nasa (נָסָה) means to test or prove and the noun form of this is nisayon (נִסָּיוֹן), which is often translated (in Modern Hebrew) as experience (i.e., that comes from testing), though in Biblical Hebrew a trial was known as a masa (מסה). This word is also transliterated as nissayon. (The plural is nisayonot.)

Note: Some have attempted to make the connection between a nes (נס)  - "banner" or "miracle" - and nisayon. Nes is related to the root נשא - meaning "to lift up."   Those who claim that נסה means "to make great" or "to lift up" have to explain why God judges those who test God...  In other words, pushed to the extreme, the connection means that God is glorified in our tempting Him -- which seems to be mistaken.


(nee-TZE-vet) n. The name of the mother of King David, according to Jewish tradition. David was born into the respected family of Yishai (Jesse) of which the Talmud says not a little of its dignity and integrity (i.e., Shabbat 55a)... Apparenty some of the sages said that his wife was named "Nitzevet," a descendant of the royal house of Judah. David's mother was not named explicitly in the Bible, though 1 Sam. 22:3-4 indicates David had a good relationship with her, and both Psalm 86:16 and Psalm 116:16 further indicate that David esteemed her as a godly woman.


(NO-akh) n. Noah. The son of Lamech (Gen. 5:28-30), father of Ham, Shem, and Japheth (Gen. 4:32), whom YHVH chose to build an ark containing pairs of all living creatures to survive the Mabul (flood) (Gen. 6:13-8:19) and with whom YHVH made an everlasting covenant (Gen. 8:20-9:17). Noach and the Flood are often cited in the New Testament as examples of divine judgment (Matt. 24:37-39; Luke 17:26-28; Heb. 11:7; 1 Pet. 3:20; 2 Pet. 2:5; 3:5-6).

Noahide laws

(SHE-va meetz-VOTE be-nay NO-akh) n. Sheva mitzvot b'nei Noach.
Seven Laws given to the children of Noah considered binding on all people, at all times, as universal obligations. The Children of Noah are the Gentiles, comprising the seventy nations of the world. They are commanded concerning the Seven Universal Laws, also known as the Seven Noahide Laws. These include:

  • Avodah Zarah: Prohibition on idolatry.
  • Birchat HaShem: Prohibition on blasphemy and cursing the Name of G-d.
  • Shefichat Damim: Prohibition on murder.
  • Gezel: Prohibition on robbery and theft.
  • Gilui Arayot: Prohibition on immorality and forbidden sexual relations.
  • Ever Min HaChay: Prohibition on removing and eating a limb from a live animal.
  • Dinim: Requirement to establish a justice system and courts of law to enforce the other 6 laws.

When a Gentile resolves to fulfill the Seven Universal Laws, his or her soul is elevated. This person becomes one of the "Chasidei Umot Haolam" (Pious Ones of the Nations) and receives a share of the World to Come.

Note that this entire idea is a patently false teaching, since NO ONE can come to the Father without the Son of God, Yeshua, as his or her Advocate and Savior, and whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, YHVH [John 5:23; John 14:6, etc.]).


(noh-te-ree-kohn) n. Greek: νοταρικόν.  An interpretative device where Torah words are read as acronyms or abbreviations for other words or sentences. Often used by Kabbalists, this method was also sometimes used by Rashi and other classical commentators. There are two basic approaches to Hebrew notarikon. One approach interprets every letter in a particular word (or phrase) as the abbreviation of a whole word whereas a second approach consists of breaking up a word into various components. An example of the first approach would be the word anokhi in the Ten Commandments, which was used to abbreviate the phrase, "I myself wrote them." An example of the second approach would be the name רְאוּבֵן (Reuben) which becomes ראוּ בֵן (re'u ven: "see (the) son").

This method is similar to temurah (תְּמוּרָה), which rearranges letters in Hebrew words to derive additional insights (e.g., the atbash method replaces the first letter with the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the second with the next-to-last (i.e., aleph=tav, bet=shin, gimmel=resh, and so on, and then "transforms" the original word).


(NOTS-ree) n./adj. "Christian." Notzrim are Christians.


(noo) part. "Well?" "So?"


(noon) n. Nun. 14th letter of the Hebrew alphabet having a sound of "n" as in now. Originally a pictograph representing seed or fish. Gematria = 50. Nun also has a sofit (final) form.

Nusach / Nusachim

(noo-sakh / noo-sa-KHEEM) n. lit. "text" or "version." Either: 1) the style of a prayer service (e.g., Ashkenaz, Sefard, or Ari); or 2) the melody style of a prayer service that is determined by the time the service is conducted (musical nusach).

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