Rather than pursue a different or more accurate definition or a deeper or mystical meaning of a Hebrew word, Paleo / Ancient Hebrew’s greatest asset is to assist the student in more clearly determining the “functional meaning” of the word. The scriptural principle that enhances this process is that, first comes the natural and then comes the spiritual. In other words, once the natural message(s) of the individual pictograph is known then the “functional meaning” of that word picture finds its value. This process is interdependent on the reader knowing the message conveyed by the individual pictographs in their cultural context. In contrast, English as well as most Western language systems are phonetic in design using a memory system of shapes and sounds to form words that are phonetically memorized but have little if any embedded meaning in the individual letters. An excellent example of these differences is found in the word “dog”. In English D – o – g is simply three individual shapes with no inherent meaning. In Ancient / Paleo pictographs, the Hebrew for dog is K – l – b, or Kalev. Its functional meaning is “all heart”. Anyone that has spent time with “man’s best friend” knows that a dog’s nature is “all heart”!
Additionally, it should be noted that the growth of Modern Hebrew, dictated by the need for new words with no Biblical background, has accelerated the pressure to use phonetic practices to create new Hebrew words without the underlying meanings prevalent in Ancient / Paleo Hebrew.