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Biblical Hebrew A

Updated: Mar 21


As often as I can, I will post small lessons that should help in you endeavor to learn Biblical Hebrew. Here is the first instalment.


A major difference between Biblical Hebrew and Modern Hebrew is that most of the text of Scripture is in a narrative form. What is not is in third person perfect and imperfect tenses. The languages are for the most part the same as England English is to American English. Modern Hebrew is in the conversational such as past participle, participle, Imperativ, infinitive absolute, and infinitive construct, the present tenses. Most Biblical Hebrew classes begin in these tenses. Keep in mind when moving to the perfect and imperfect tenses that there are major differences in the conjugational forms.


Written Hebrew began as a set of pictographic characters that looked like the object that it represented. But one important fact is that written language of Hebrew is not the most ancient of the semitic languages. What I mean by this is that there was some proto-language that began as pictures that looked like the thing it represented. An Ox was called "Aloof". So the pictorial character the represents the Ox is the Head of the Ox. This looks a lot like the head itself as can be seen below. The first letter in the extreme upper right is the pictographic letter for the Aloof which was distinguished from the Ox itself in spoken language by vowel changes. The letter then was called the Alef. It represents strength, steadfastness, and provision. It is the letter that became the representation of the Ayin Suf or One Without End. You might notice that there are clearly two horns as would have an Ox and a face similar to all bovines. Even at this crud stage in the character set of the Language, one can easily see the similarities of the letter to the modern day English capital letter "A". Take the image in the the extreme upper right corner and turn it horns down. Does this not resemble an A.

This is a picture of a piece of a tablet with ancient proto-Hebrew writing. The object on the right is a tracing of the tablet to enhance the letters.


Well, I have not been able to keep up with this at all. This Roeh Billy from Shearit Yisrael Qahal Yehoshua. I have decided to refer you to the site of a good friend of mine Jeff Benner. His site is so much better than I could give you anyway. Here is the site:


https://www.ancient-hebrew.org/


I suggest you exhaust all that this site has to offer. As for this site, I am considering beginning another class in Biblical Hebrew A. This is a college level course and is something that I can keep us with as it will be an online class. We will be using the gotomeeting platform. I am considering every sunday evening at 8pm. The time can be adjusted if it becomes obvious that this is a bad time. If you are interested, I would ask that you send mean email reflecting you interest. I need five students to justify my time. I do not charge for this. It is a gift. I have been told many times that students will not stay in the class if you don't charge. While this is probably true, I just can't charge. So if you are willing and dedicated, drop me an email at roehbilly@gmail.com. Put in the subject line Biblical Hebrew A. If I can get five dedicated students, I will hold the class. It is a 30 week course.

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