The first installment of our new Word Studies series is a six-part exploration of the ancient biblical prayer called “The Shema” (found in Deuteronomy 6:4-6). For thousands of years Jewish people have daily prayed these words which summarize the Bible’s call for faithfulness and devotion to God. We will explore all of the key words in this prayer and what they meant in their original language and historical context.


71 thoughts on “Word Study: Shema – “Listen”

    • I understand that Hebrew people do not say the name of God, but use “Hashem”. As a believer in Christ Jesus, living under Grace, I can certainly say out loud, “YAWEY”, but mostly God the Father is known as “ABBA” as Jesus called him, in the New Covenant. Thank you for reading this, just as an FYI of my belief as a Jesus follower… as I read your response as an orthodox Jew.

    • Shirley James A huge reason that Orthodox Jewish people don’t say The Name of God is that, it’s not “Yahwey.” The way The Name is written in Hebrew, it is impossible to pronounce. In order to understand how this is exactly, you’d have to study ancient (Biblical) Hebrew. Or I can take out my Hebrew lessons book and explain it to you. So, no one really knows how to pronounce it, “Yahwey” is just a guess from English speakers (not all that accurate when reading Hebrew words). So, sure you can say “Yahwey” if you’d like, but who’s name are you really saying?

      That said, pronouncing The Name is very offensive to the Jewish people, so if you’re trying to get them to know Yeshua (Jesus), it won’t be very helpful to do so.

      Yeshua/Jesus, by the way, never pronounced The Name of God, because he knew it would have been sin to do so. (What he did in Heaven, we can’t know, but we know he followed the Jewish Law on Earth).
      a believer in Jesus, since we’re stating that.)

    • It isn’t his name, its a title, ‘OUR LORD’, i don’t feel i am disrespecting him by saying it. But i understand if you thats how you feel about it :).

    • The traditions of men make the word of no effect. (attempting because the TRUTH of the word is available to them who seek it.) It is insane to believe the Creator of Heaven & Earth will give HIS NAME, give scripture about the importance of the NAME, encourage the chosen to call on His Name; and then make it unable to be pronounced. The truth is the original & true Hebrews had a pronounce-able name. All of that culture mixing, man made doctrine caused the pronunciation to be missed. YAHUAH knows and can impart it again the way HE did the first time. He is the same.

  1. Awesome video, as per usual. I think this new project will be a great addition. Can’t wait for the next video.
    Also to add to the “Shema” list -“He that has ears to hear, let him hear” ~ Matthew 3:9,43 Mark 4-8,23 Mark 7:16 Luke 8:8 Revelations 2:7,11,17,29 and Revelations 3:6,13,22.

    This could also mean those who have heard, obey!

    • I assume Jesus spoke Aramaic so the language used in the New Testament is probably reflective of that. I stand to be corrected though.

    • reyzaguirr

      I think He may have used Shema, especially since He went to the synagogue all the time, read from the Torah, and even quoted that exact verse from Deuteronomy 6. 🙂

    • reyzaguirr Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

      This is what the Jewish do…

  2. Absolutely love this video!!! Please do more of these because the Hebrew language is so beautiful and its English equivalents doesn’t do it justice… Opening up these words magnifies the meaning so much. I just love it!!! 💜💜💜💜

    • Zeev Breiner The bible takes place over a variety of situations the Hebrew spoken by Moshe is different than the Hebrew spoken in synagogues throughout time to the present the 3 that I have come across are Paleo, Yiddish, & Modern. Please show me what your Hebrew looks like; please reply with the NAME of The Creator typed in Hebrew. Thanks, I know what the Hebrew I want to learn looks like. That will allow me to make an informed decision. Thank you.

    • PhillipOnWater I’m with you on the more Hebrew word studies Phillip. And the BibleProject guys won’t disappoint! What a blessing. Shalom.

    • Yeah! The word studies could help people a lot in learning Hebrew, and in developing a deeper understanding of the Bible. I would like to see them get into Greek at some point as well. It would also be cool to see them cover apocryphal writings at some point too. But who knows. I’ll support them either way. I love what they do.

    • Hi, if you would be interesting in learning ancient Hebrew language, hit me up, I teach it over the internet totally from scratch 🙂 zeev.breiner(@)

  3. Fun fact.
    They word “obey” in English sounds harsh. (Maybe just for someone who didn’t grew up with English.)

    In German as well as in Russian “obey” derives from “listen”.

    • DanJan09 yes the russian word is really close, but it is harsh to ..
      Where is – Slushay
      Vs – Shema

      Also the meaning of slushay is a little weaker, because when you want someone to obey you – the word is changing to – Slushaysia
      Wich means – (Listen to me) Do as i say.

    • agree, shema sounds easier too.

      But for me the english “obey” sounds not only like “slushaitsya” but also like “povinovatsya”. But than again, I didn’t grow up with my parents telling me to “obey” them 😀

    • I agree, the study of the word “Selah” would be awesome. What I have found says that it could refer to the pause that would be make in the song, be it for the instruments or the singer. But also, it means to pause and praise, to pause and calmly think about what was said before.

  4. As always great video. I suggest making the next word study or theme on “Fear”, as in “Fear the Lord”/”Fear God”. I’ve come across many people that do not understand what is truly meant when the Bible speaks of fearing God.

    • Gideon Tladi I think this verse is referring to you my friend :

      (The Noble Qur’an, 5:82) “Nearest among them in love to the believers will thou find those who say “We are Christians” because amongst these are men devoted to learning.”

      Stay blessed and keep studying, If God wills, he will welcome you in his Garden Inshaa Allah

    • +I am the real Zeepy​

      Wow really? Well in that case I guess most Muslims should have good skills in terms of studying the scriptures then.

      I wish we Christians could have been taught in the original languages that the Bible scriptures were written in. But hey, at least I regularly use a King James Version Bible, which is the closest translation to the ancient texts. So, even though I don’t know Hebrew and Aramaic yet, at least I can still understand certain things if I research about them. But soon, I will definitely teach myself Hebrew and Aramaic, as I also deeply desire to read the original Ancient Hebrew Old Testament and the Aramaic New Testament.

      Thanks for your blessing.
      It was really wonderful getting to have such a discussion with you. May God daily reveal Himself unto you. Until next time☺.

    • Just because some people in history used the Bible to make people not think for themselves or keep people down doesn’t mean that’s how the Bible should be used or that’s what Christianity is.

  5. Aha , I speak Aramaic which is very very similar to the Hebrew language and I can tell you that what he said was correct! “Shmea” is what we say instead. God Bless !

  6. That’s barely the entire Shema lol I’m an orthadox Jew and I can say its waaaaay longer but the video isn’t wrong just badly explained in my opinion

    • Daniel Jakob actually they are right, (if you mean grammatically) it still works because they used the basic form of the word (Hebrew speaker from Israel)

  7. And now it makes a LOT more sense! :O 😀

    Indeed, I always wondered what Jesus meant by “they hear but do not listen.”. I felt like my Lord was, in all respect, contradicting Himself!
    But now I see that to hear and to listen are NOT the same things!

    Thank you guys for this, amazing work!

    May God bless you and your work!

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