Category Archives: Grammar

Biblical Hebrew Grammar

History of the Hebrew Language

1. The name Hebrew Language usually denotes the language of the sacred writings of the Israelites which form the canon of the Old Testament. It is also called Ancient Hebrew in contradistinction to the New Hebrew of Jewish writings of … Continue reading

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The Aspiration of the Tenues

The harder sound of the six Begadkephath letters, indicated by a Dageš lene, is to be regarded, according to the general analogy of languages, as their older and original pronunciation, from which the softer sound was weakened. The original hard … Continue reading

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Unchangeable Hebrew Vowels

What vowels in Hebrew are unchangeable, i.e. are not liable to attenuation (to Šewâ), modification, lengthening, or shortening, can be known with certainty only from the nature of the grammatical forms, and in some cases by comparison with Arabic. This … Continue reading

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Hebrew Verbs With Gutturals

Verbs which have a guttural for one of the three radicals differ in their inflexion from the ordinary strong verb. These differences do not affect the consonantal part of the stem, and it is, therefore, more correct to regard the … Continue reading

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Mater Lectionis

The usage of certain consonants to indicate a vowel in the spelling of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Syriac languages is called matres lectionis (Latin “mothers of reading”, singular form: mater lectionis, Hebrew: אֵם קְרִיאָה mother of reading). The letters that do … Continue reading

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Remarks on Pronunciation

א is the “soft breathing” like the h in English hour.  ה is the “rough breathing” like the h in English heat. ח is pronounced like ch in the German Buch. ח represents two Arabic letters خ chà (pronounced as … Continue reading

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Hebrew Alphabet

The Hebrew character in used at the present day, and in which the oldest existing manuscripts of the Bible are found written, is not only the same that was employed at the time of Jerome, viz. in the fourth century … Continue reading

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Hebrew Tenses, Moods, Flexion

(1) While the Hebrew verb, owing to these derivative forms or conjugations, possesses a certain richness and copiousness, it is, on the other hand, poor in the matter of tenses and moods. The verb has only two tense-forms (Perfect and … Continue reading

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Forms and Names of Hebrew Consonants

1. The Hebrew letters now in use, in which both the manuscripts of the O.T. are written and our editions of the Bible are printed, commonly called the square character (כְּתָב מְרֻבָּע‎), also the Assyrian character (כְּ׳ אַשּׁוּרִי‎), are not … Continue reading

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The Hebrew Vowels in General, Vowel Letters and Vowel Signs

1. The original vowels in Hebrew, as in the other Semitic tongues, are a, i, u. E and o always arise from an obscuring or contraction of these three pure sounds, viz. ĕ by modification from ĭ or ă; short … Continue reading

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