See Also: Obey


:to be aware of (sound) through the ear

: to listen to (someone or something)

: to be told (something)


H8085 shama` – to hear, listen to, obey.  to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.)

Scripture References

Genesis 49:3 Gather yourselves together, and hear (H8085), ye sons of Jacob; and hearken (H8085) unto Israel your father. (KVJ)

Joshua 3:9 And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, Come hither, and hear (H8085) the words of the LORD your God. (KJV)

Micah 5:15 And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not heard (H8085). (KJV)


This is a very interesting word.  The KJV translates this one Hebrew word into more than 16 different English words.  Also, different versions of the Bible often use different words in their translations and this can be confusing.  One such instance of this is in Micah 5:15.  The KJV uses the word heard but is this the best translation?  In Hebrew the last part of this verse reads, “Nation who not (hear, listen, obey, H8085)” so is the KJV’s “such as they have not heard” really the best translation?  We don’t know.  It seems that translators don’t either since taking a look at this verse in parallel versions reveals that it’s pretty much split equally between some form of the word hear/heard and the word obey.  The Holman Christian Standard Bible has it translated this way, “I will take vengeance in anger and wrath against the nations that have not obeyed Me.”  The only way to properly understand the meaning of this verse is to do so within the context of what is being spoken about.  Additionally we have to keep in mind the Hebraic meaning of this word.  Even if it is translated as hear/heard it still has the implication of obedience to what is being heard.  Because of this, even when it is translated as hear/heard it is not the same as our English definition of the word.  With these things in mind, we believe that Micah 5:15 is better rendered as obey rather than hear/heard and half of the major translations agree.

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