כִּי לֹא מַחְשְׁבוֹתַי מַחְשְׁבוֹתֵיכֶם, וְלֹא דַרְכֵיכֶם דְּרָכָי--נְאֻם, יְה.
ki lo machsh'voTAI machsh'voteiCHEM, v'lo darcheiCHEM d'raCHAI-n'oom Yah.
(I shortened HaShem to "ya" out of respect)
This verse is commonly translated:
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the LORD.
I would like to examine the third word: מַחְשְׁבוֹתַי. The shoresh, or root, is not immediately identifiable for Hebrew students. We may be able to see that the "ai" suffix means "my". And the "oht" before that is plural, more than one "thought". The shoresh that we are left with is: mem, chet, shin, vet, hey. (The hey is lost in the suffix construction of plural). FIVE WHOLE LETTERS! Quite unlike the usual three letter shoreshim.
But let's look further. This word מחשבה,means more than "thoughts".
My Langenscheidt's Pocket Hebrew Dictionary gives these definitions for מחשבה:
"thought, intention, purpose, plan, device; skilful work, fortification-work"
Try putting each of those words in place of "thought" in the translation.
Now, let's go on to the word translated "way" דרך. Again, we see the construction with possessives and plurals. The shoresh is dalet, resh, chaf sofeet. And the definition again is richly enhanced:
"a going, walk, journey; way, path, road; mode, manner, course, way of life, lot; worship."
Wow! Now read the verse, substituting each of these definitions in place of "way".
I hope you can see the benefit and depth from reading and understanding the Tanach in the original text. This blog is the result of a question about word meaning. Please feel free to contribute a question about Hebrew meaning from your favorite verse today.