Saturday, September 2, 2023

The Hebrew verb כרת (karat, pronounced ka-RAHT) means "to cut." However, the verb כרת can be used in many ways, several of which are similar to English usages. For instance, it can mean the physical act of cutting, like in 1 Samuel 24:4: "Then David went and stealthily cut off (ויכרת) a corner of Saul’s cloak." It can also mean to be "cut off" or separated from someone, like in Leviticus 7:27: "Any one of you who eats any blood shall be cut off (ונכרתה) from your kin." Finally, the word is commonly used to describe the establishment of a covenant, as we might "cut a deal" today, as in Genesis 15:18: "On that day the LORD made (כרת, literally, "cut") a covenant with Abram..."