… and He said: “If you will diligently hearken to the voice of Yehovah your God, and will do that which is right in His eyes, and will give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases upon you, which I have put upon the Egyptians; for I am Yehovah that heals you.” Exo 15:26
The primitive root
Strong’s H4245, machaleh, a concrete noun meaning, “sickness, disease;” from Strong’s H2470 חלה chalah, a primitive root meaning, “to be weak, to be sick.” The ancient pictographs are chet + lamed + hey.
chet ח = the wall, thus outside, divide, half
lamed ל = the shepherd’s staff, thus teach, yoke, to, bind
hey ה = man with upraised arms, thus look, reveal, wonder, worship, breath
Gesenius says it means, “to be rubbed or worn,” thus to be weak or sick. From the Ancient Hebrew Lexicon:
A hole is drilled with a tool called a bow drill. The string of the bow is wrapped around the drill. By moving the bow back and forth, and firmly pressing down, the drill spins around drilling the hole.
As the string is wrapped around (chet, as a wall surrounds a house) the drill (lamed, i.e., the drill is a long stick with a sharpened end), to bore a hole, so a sickness can cause piercing pain (i.e., the body is pierced with pain as the bow drill pierces), so that a man beseeches (hey) another for relief.