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Makhshava is a Hebrew word commonly translated as "thought." Dr. Hugh Nibley, however, maintained that "plan" is a better translation. [1] Biblical passages in which makhshava "definitely should be" translated as "plan" (emphasis in the original) include, according to Dr. Nibley:

In addition, according to Dr. Nibley, makhshava can be rendered "plan" in:

  • Isaiah 55:8,9; 59:7; 65:2; 66:18.
  • Jeremiah 6:19; 11:19;18:12,18; 29:11; 49:20,30; 50:4-5.

Nibley's student Benjamin Urrutia maintains that this translation is also necessary in the Book of Esther, in which the usual translations read that Haman "thought" to destroy the Jewish people. But he did not just think about it; he made a plan. The correct translation is: "Haman planned to destroy the Jews."

In the Hebrew Bible, the concept "he thought" is expressed as amar belibo - literally "he said in his heart."


  1. ^ Since Cumorah, 1988, ISBN 0-87579-139-5 , page 214

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