The meaning of the name Michael מִיכָאֵל

Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by Leoji, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. Leoji New Member

    English
    Is the name Michael a question or a statement?

    Who is like God?

    or

    Who is like God!

    Thanks Joel
     
  2. MuttQuad

    MuttQuad Senior Member

    New York, NY
    English - AmE
    According to Wikipedia:

    Michael is a given name that comes from the Hebrew: מִיכָאֵל / מיכאל‎ (Mikha'el), derived from the Hebrew question מי כמו אלוהים? (Hebrew pronunciation: [mi kəmo ʔelohim]) meaning "Who is like God?"[1] In English, it is sometimes shortened to Mike, Mikey, or, especially in Ireland, Mick.
     
  3. Leoji New Member

    English
    Thanks MuttQuad,

    I saw that also. I was wondering if this was true historically, traditionally and just how its understood from Hebrew speaking folk (I'm on my way but I'm far from even being bad... just takes time i guess)

    Thanks

    Joel
     
  4. ks20495 Senior Member

    Hebrew and English
    I'd say it's hard to tell whether the name is an exclamation or a question, per se.

    As you might imagine, the name just "shows up" in the Book of Daniel -- it isn't prefaced by a sort of "This is the angel Michael...His name means XYZ."
     
  5. Welshie

    Welshie Senior Member

    France
    England, English
    I don't see how it could be a statement. How can a question word such as "Who, what, how" etc, introduce a statement? What does "Who is like God!" mean? Or are you referring to the use of "who" in English in the sense of "which/the one", ie:

    Bob, who is like God

    ? I don't think that the Hebrew word מי can be used this way, but I am far from being an expert.
     
  6. yuval9 Senior Member

    Hebrew
    מי, and other question words, are used for questions only, unlike in English.
    מי כאל?! = Who is like God?!
    It's a rhetorical question
     
  7. MuttQuad

    MuttQuad Senior Member

    New York, NY
    English - AmE
    Easily:

    What we need now is...

    How beautiful they are...
     
  8. Ilya Kogan New Member

    Israel - Hebrew & Russian
    It's not the same, because you have "is"/"are" in the end. What does "Who is like God is..." mean?!
     
  9. Ilya Kogan New Member

    Israel - Hebrew & Russian
    You're right, it can't. In this context שֶ (she) is used.
    "Bob, who is like God" would be "בוב, שֶהוא כמו אלהים", or, to be closer to the original: "בוב שֶכאל" (although this sounds very archaic).
     
  10. MuttQuad

    MuttQuad Senior Member

    New York, NY
    English - AmE
    What I was responding to was an assertion to the effect that words such as "who," 'how, " or "what" (in English) could only be used at the opening of a question, not a statement.

    I simply proved that to be untrue by showing some statements which do open with those words -- and I've just demonstrated it again.
     

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