Biblical Hebrew

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Biblical Hebrew, Classical Hebrew
‫שפת כּנ ַען, יהודית, )לשון( עבּרית, לשון הקדש‬ ֶ ְ ַ ּ ִ ִ ּ ִ ּ ַ ַ ְּ Spoken in Total speakers Kingdom of Israel Global (as a liturgical language for Judaism) Extinct as a regularly spoken language by the 4th century CE, but survived as a liturgical and literary language Afro-Asiatic
• o   

Semitic Central Semitic Northwest Semitic Canaanite Bibli

Language family

cal Hebrew, Classical Hebrew Proto-Canaanite / Phoenician alphabet Writing system Paleo-Hebrew alphabet Hebrew alphabet Samaritan alphabet Language codes ISO 639-3 hbo
Note: This page may contain IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode.

Biblical Hebrew, also called Classical Hebrew, is the archaic form of the Hebrew language, spoken by the Hebrews/Israelites. The most notable text in Biblical Hebrew is the Hebrew Bible; in addition, various Israelite inscriptions have also been found. The language is attested from the 10th century BCE to the late Second Temple period, after which the language developed into Mishnaic Hebrew. Most Biblical Hebrew texts were mainly consonantal; the language's vowels are attested by transcriptions into other scripts and from later Medieval vocalization traditions (most notably the Tiberian vocalization). Biblical Hebrew is a VSO language with a tenseaspect-mood system, which is still not precisely understood.


• • • • • • •

• • • • • •

1 Nomenclature 2 History 3 Classification 4 Eras 5 Dialects 6 Orthography 7 Phonology o 7.1 Consonants o 7.2 Vowels o 7.3 Stress 8 Grammar o 8.1 Morphology o 8.2 Syntax 9 Sample text 10 See also 11 Notes 12 References 13 Bibliography 14 External links

[edit] Nomenclature
ˁApiru (ʕprw)[1] in hieroglyphs

The earliest written sources refer to Biblical Hebrew by the name of the land in which it was spoken: ‫' שפת כנען‬the language of Canaan' (see Is 19:18).[2] The Hebrew Bible also shows that the language was called ‫' יהודית‬Judaean, Judahite' (see, for example, 2 Kgs 18:26,28).[2] In the Hellenistic period Greek writings use the names Hebraios, Hebraïsti (Josephus, Antiquities I, 1:2, etc.), and in Mishnaic Hebrew we find ‫' עברית‬Hebrew' and ‫' לשון עברית‬Hebrew language' (Mishnah Gittin 9:8, etc.).[2] The origin of this term is obscure; it may relate to the Biblical Eber, the Ethnonym Ḫabiru or Ḫapiru found in sources from Egypt and the near east, or less likely a derivation from the root ‫' עבר‬to pass' alluding to crossing over the Jordan river.[2] Jews also began referring to Hebrew as ‫' לשון הקדש‬the holy tongue' in the Rabbinic era.[2] The term Classical Hebrew may include all pre-medieval dialects of Hebrew, including Mishnaic Hebrew (Roman Era Hebrew). The term Biblical Hebrew refers to pre-Mishnaic dialects (sometimes excluding Dead Sea Scroll Hebrew). The term 'Biblical Hebrew' may or may

including the famous Samaria ostraca and Siloam inscription. and Lachish.[4][5] The earliest previously known Hebrew inscriptions are found in the Phoenician script.[8] The number of findings increases starting in the 8th century BCE.[8] Siloam Inscription.[6][7] The oldest inscriptions in Paleo-Hebrew script are dated to around the middle of the 9th century BCE. most commonly the early-Medieval Tiberian vocalization. [edit] History History of the Hebrew language • • • • • Biblical Hebrew Mishnaic Hebrew Medieval Hebrew Hebrew Language Revival Modern Israeli Hebrew Hebrew developed during the latter half of the second millennium BCE between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. which later split into the kingdom of Israel in the north and the kingdom of Judah in the south after a dispute of succession.not include extra-Biblical texts. taken at Istanbul Archaeological Museum . including the Gezer calender from around the 10th century BCE. Tel Hazor. written in the Proto-Canaanite alphabet and dated to the 10th century BCE. and Tel Arad.g. the Siloam inscription).[8][9] Hebrew inscriptions from the 9th century were found in Kuntillet Ajrud.[3] The earliest Hebrew writing yet discovered. and generally also includes later vocalization traditions for the Hebrew Bible's consonantal text. such as inscriptions (e. an area known as Canaan. the most famous being the Mesha Stele in the Moabite language (which might be considered a dialect of Hebrew).[2] The Israelite tribes established a kingdom in Canaan at the beginning of the first millennium BCE. was found at Khirbet Qeiyafa in July 2008 by Israeli archaeologist Yossi Garfinkel.

the Uzzia epitaph. which contain biblical quotations. and a few monumental inscriptions including the 'House of Trumpeting' inscription. and the Lachish letters date from the early 6th century BCE.[14][nb 1] The scholars who preserved the pronunciation of the Bibles were known as the Masoretes. and . Mishnaic Hebrew was spoken until the 4th century CE. leather scrolls were used. and Hebrew began a revival process in the 19th century.[11] The kingdom of Judah was conquered by the Babylonians in 586 BCE.[8] However. dating from the late 3rd and early 2nd centuries BCE. [13] One Jewish revolt against the Romans lead to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. Hebrew continued to be used as a literary and liturgical language in the form of Medieval Hebrew.[3] In the Hellenistic period Judea became independent under the Hasmoneans. show a version of the priestly blessing.[3] Other than several sections and isolated loanwords in Aramaic. but later the Romans ended their independence. Vowel and cantillation marks were added to the older consonantal layer of the Bible between 600 CE and the beginning of the tenth century. Persian and Aramaic. Queen Helena's inscriptions. which was the Lingua franca of the area at the time. Classical Hebrew is generally taught in public schools in Israel. and is dated to the 7th century BCE. fiber impressions on the back of many bullae of that period show that papyrus was in common use in that region.[12] Other finds in the Square Script from the late Second Temple period include the Benei Hezir inscription from the 1st century BCE.[8][10] The only papyrus document from the First Temple period that has survived was found in the Wadi Murabba'at. Samuel.[3] The oldest documents that have been found in the Square Script are fragments of the scrolls of Exodus.The kingdom of Israel was destroyed by the Assyrians in 722 BCE. which was influenced by Greek. and the second Bar-Kochba revolt in 132-135 CE lead to the departure of the Jewish population of Judea.[14] The Biblical Hebrew language evolved into Roman Era Hebrew. culminating in Modern Hebrew becoming the official language of the State of Israel. and the only still used is the Tiberian vocalization. the Hebrew Bible is entirely written in Biblical Hebrew. and Jeremiah found among the Dead Sea scrolls. or Mishnaic Hebrew. the Ketef Hinnom scrolls.[13] Spoken Hebrew after the Second Temple period developed into Mishnaic Hebrew. making Herod their governor.[8] Two silver rolls from the 7th or 6th century BCE.[3] Later the Persians made Judah a province and permitted Jewish exiles to return and rebuild the Temple.[14] The Palestinian system was preserved mainly in piyyutim. but both Babylonian and Palestinian vocalizations are also attested. dating to around the middle of the 2nd century BCE.[12] Before these were discovered the earliest known such find was the Nash Papyrus containing the Ten Commandments and part of the Shema. The most wellpreserved system that developed.[3] A great number of ostraca and letters from the 7th and early 6th centuries were found in Arad. while during the Babylonian exile. its people exiled and the first Temple destroyed.[8] Presumably papyrus was common in the pre-exilic period. given that papyrus does not grow there. Currently.

[20][21] Hebrew is classed with Phoenician in the Caananite subgroup.[20] Lexical isoglosses include: ‫' גג‬roof' ‫' שלחן‬table' ‫' חלון‬window' ‫' ישן‬old (thing)' ‫' זקן‬old (person)' ‫' גרש‬expel'. and its similarities are more likely a result of either contact or preserved archaism. */θʼ/ and */ɬʼ/ > /sʼ/.[20] Moabite might be considered a Hebrew dialect. which also includes Ammonite.[9][21] Although Ugaritic shows a large degree of affinity to Hebrew in poetic structure. some archaic forms.[20] Morphological isoglosses include the masculine plural marker -‫ . Since Modern Hebrew contains many Biblical elements. but disappear almost totally afterwards. Edomite.אנכי‬ .[20] Case endings are found in Northwest Semitic languages in the second millennium BCE.[20][23] Hebrew also shares with the Canaanite languages the shifts */ð/ > /z/.[15] [edit] Classification Reflexes of Proto-Semitic consonants in Hebrew[16][17] Examples Proto-Semitic Hebrew Hebrew Aramaic meaning ‫זהב‬ ‫דהב‬ */ð/ 'gold' */z/1 1 ‫' מאזניא מאזנים‬scale' */z/ ‫שנה‬ ‫שנה‬ */θ/ 'year' */ʃ/1 1 ‫שנה‬ ‫תנה‬ */ʃ/ 'repeat' ‫צל‬ ‫' טלה‬shadow' */θʼ/ */ɬʼ/ ‫ארץ‬ ‫ארע‬ */sʼ/1 'land' 1 ‫צרח‬ ‫צרח‬ */sʼ/ 'shout' 1. with Phoenician and Aramaic on each extreme. Biblical Hebrew is fairly intelligible to Modern Hebrew speakers. and some grammar. and assimilation of non-final /n/ to the following consonant. it lacks some Canaanite features (like the Canaanite shift and the shift */ð/ > /z/).ם‬first person singular pronoun ‫. possibly affricated Biblical Hebrew is a Northwest Semitic language of the Canaanite subgroup. first person singular pronominal suffix -i or -ya.[20] Mimation is absent in singular nouns. vocabulary.Biblical Hebrew forms are sometimes used in Modern Hebrew literature.[20] The Northwest Semitic languages formed a dialect continuum in the Iron Age (1200-540 BCE).[22] Hebrew underwent the Canaanite vowel shift.[20] The subjunctive and energetic verb forms yaqtula and yaqtulan(na)/yaqtul are attested in nearly the whole Northwest Semitic area. widespread reduction of dipthongs. such as /naħnu/ 'we'. and /n/ commonly preceding pronominal suffixes. a similar independent pronoun system to the other Northwest Semitic languages (with third person pronouns never containing /ʃ/). Hebrew shows the shift of initial */w/ to /j/. and Moabite. but is often retained in the plural.[18][19] As a Northwest Semitic language. where Proto-Semitic /aː/ tended to shift to /oː/. loss of intervocalic /h/. much as archaic and Biblical constructions are used in Modern English literature. though it possessed distinctive Aramaic features. perhaps when stressed. even though Modern Hebrew would have been unintelligible to Biblical Hebrew speakers.

ֶ [edit] Dialects Dialect variation in Biblical Hebrew is attested to by the well-known shibboleth incident of Judges 12:6. is found in poetic sections of the Bible and inscriptions dating to around the 1000 BCE. and from Late Biblical Hebrew (5th to 2nd century BCE). 'that') in the earlier period. which shifted to /ʃ/ in most dialects of Hebrew.[26][27] Qumran Hebrew. attested in the Dead Sea Scrolls from ca. may have been retained in the . is the oldest stratum of Biblical Hebrew. or the early Monarchic Period. for example ‫חזה‬ for prose ‫' ראה‬see'. and third person plural feminine verbal marker 20]. both being used in Mishnaic and Modern Hebrew. ָ [29] Late Biblical Hebrew shows Aramaic influence in phonology. and this trend is also evident in the later-developed Tiberian vocalization system. see the use of the conditional particle ‫ אלו‬replacing ‫ . It is distinguished from Standard Biblical Hebrew that is used in most of the Hebrew Bible (8th to 6th century BCE).מי‬definite article ‫( -ה‬appearing in the first millennium BCE). parallel with those in other Canaanite languages. is a continuation of Late Biblical Hebrew. and some Writings is known as 'Biblical Hebrew proper' or 'Standard Biblical Hebrew'. where Jephthah's forces from Gilead caught Ephraimites trying to cross the Jordan river by making them say ‫'( שבּ֫לת‬ear of corn')[31] The Ephraimites' identity was given away by ֶ ִ 31] their pronunciation: . it has been suggested that the proto-Semitic phoneme */θ/. [26][27] Later pre-exilic Biblical Hebrew (such as is found in prose sections of the Pentateuch. The oldest known artifacts of Archaic Biblical Hebrew are various biblical accounts from the Hebrew Bible Tanakh.-‫]ת‬ As Biblical Hebrew (BH) evolved from Proto-Semitic (PS) it underwent a number of consonantal mergers. and lexicon. The oldest form of Biblical Hebrew.interrogative pronoun ‫ .[16][20][24][nb 2] There is no evidence that these mergers occurred after the adaptation of the Hebrew alphabet. being ֶ replaced with the clitic -‫ ש‬in the later.[28] Some have cognates in other Northwest Semitic languages. corresponding to the spoken language of roughly the 10th to 9th centuries BC. for example ‫' פעל‬do' and ‫' חרוץ‬gold' which are common in Canaanite and Ugaritic. Archaic Hebrew.‫ ]סבּ֫לת‬The apparent conclusion is that the Ephraimite dialect had /s/ for ֶ ִ standard /ʃ/.[27] Archaic Biblical Hebrew. ‫ כביר‬for ‫' גדול‬great'. morphology.[25][nb 3] [edit] Eras Biblical Hebrew as preserved in the Hebrew Bible is composed of two linguistic layers—the consonantal skeleton.לו‬Another difference between the two is the use of ִ the relative pronoun ‫( אֲשר‬introducing a Restrictive clause.[31] As an alternative explanation. including the Song of Moses (Exodus 15) and the Song of Deborah (Judges 5). Prophets. also known as Old Hebrew or Paleo-Hebrew. 200 BCE to 70 CE. Biblical Hebrew may be subdivided by era. Biblical poetry uses a number of distinct lexical items.[30] For example. [26][27] Biblical Hebrew from after the Babylonian exile in 587 BCE is known as 'Late Biblical Hebrew'. and a vocalic system which only began being written down much later.

‫עשות‬ ַ ַ ֲ ֲ 34] The Samaria ostraca also show ‫ שת‬for standard ‫' שנה‬year'.Hebrew of the trans-Jordan. forms like ‫דעה‬ ֶ ָ ּ ] 'to know' rather than ‫ דעת‬and infinitives of II-y verbs of the form ‫' עשו‬to do' rather than . the vocalization *‫ קיץ‬would be ּ more forceful.[20][nb 5][33] The word play in Amos 8:1-2 ‫ כלוב קיץ. ω σ2.[34] The guttural phonemes /ħ ʕ h ʔ/ merged over time in some dialects. ∅ [z] ου. ∅ [w]. Samaritan Hebrew also shows a general attrition of these phonemes. e.[33] Other possible Northern features include use of ‫' -ש‬who. (Pre-Exilic)[35][36] (Tiberian) Secunda)[37] (IPA) Aleph Beth Gimel Daleth He Waw Zayin ‫א‬ ‫ב‬ ‫ג‬ ‫ד‬ ‫ה‬ ‫ו‬ ‫ז‬ ࠀ ࠀ ࠀ ࠀ ࠀ ࠀ ࠀ [ʔ]. contradicting this theory. [edit] Orthography Phonetic Phonetic Greek value Name Paleo-Hebrew Block Samaritan value (LXX. added halfway through the first millenium BCE (‫/ = יין‬ ˈjajin/). This was found in Dead Sea Scroll Hebrew. though /ʕ/ is occasionally preserved. The Northern dialect shows more frequent monopthongization of /aj/ into /eː/ as attested by the Samaria ostraca (8th century BCE). ∅ [b] [ɡ] [d] [h]. there is evidence that the word ‫ שבּ֫לת‬had initial ֶ ִ [31] consonant */ʃ/ in proto-Semitic.g.. ζ2 . Loss of these sounds was also a regionalism in later Mishnaic Hebrew and Aramaic. but Jerome attested to the existence of contemporaneous Hebrew speakers who still distinguished pharyngeals. while the Southern dialect instead shows an anaptyctic vowel.[32][nb 4] However.. The existence of an Israelian Hebrew dialect has been proposed to account for Aramaisms in preexilic Biblical texts. בא הַקץ‬may reflect this: given that ּ ָ ַ֫ ּ Amos was addressing the population of the Northern Kingdom. as in Aramaic. that'. ‫/ =( ין‬jeːn/ < */jajn/ 'wine').

‫ח‬ ‫ט‬ ‫י‬ . ן‬ ‫ס‬ ‫ע‬ .[42] . γ [p] φ3.‫צ‬ ‫ץ‬ ‫ק‬ ‫ר‬ ‫ש‬ ‫ת‬ ࠀ ࠀ ࠀ ࠀ ࠀ ࠀ ࠀ ࠀ ࠀ ࠀ ࠀ ࠀ ࠀ ࠀ ࠀ [ħ]1. [ɬ][38][39] [t] σ θ3.‫כ‬ ‫ך‬ ‫ל‬ . but later was written with <ζ>. 3. ∅ ∅.‫מ‬ ‫ם‬ ‫נ. τ3 may be accompanied by vowel mutation[40] originally written with <σ> like the other sibilants. [χ][38][39] [tʼ][38][39] [j]. [ʁ][38][39] ∅1.[41] /k p t/ are consistently written in the Secunda by <χ φ θ>.‫פ‬ ‫ף‬ . κ3 [l] [m] [n] [s] [ʕ].Heth Teth Yodh Kaph Lamedh Mem Nun Samekh Ayin Pe Sadhe Qoph Resh Shin Taw 1. π3 [sʼ][38][39] σ [q] or [kʼ][38][39] [r] [ʃ]. 2. but the Septuagint also uses <κ π τ>. χ [k] χ3.

became widespread throughout the region.[52] The Jews who were exiled to Babylon became familiar with Aramaic out of necessity. which developed into the Paleo-Hebrew script in the tenth or ninth centuries BCE.. [5] The Israelite tribes who settled in the land of Israel adopted the Phoenician script script around the 12th century BCE.[8] It seems that the PaleoHebrew script was completely abandoned among the Jews after the failed Bar Kochba revolt. while the Jews remaining in Judea seem to have mostly lost the writing tradition. indicating that Hebrew writing was still in the formative stage. while in the Babylonian exile hide scrolls were used.[52] It seems that the earlier biblical books were originally written in the Paleo-Hebrew script. a separate descendant of the Phoenician script. and ostraca from Masada before its fall in 74 CE are among the youngest finds in the ancient script. fiber impressions on the back of many bullae of that period show that papyrus was in common use in that region. given that papyrus does not grow there.[nb 6][4][46][47] The tablet is written from left to right. the Aramaic script became established with the return of Ezra from exile around the 4th century BCE. Hasmonaean coins and coins from the Bar Kokhba revolt (132-135 BCE). and this practice is also found in several Jewish-Greek Biblical translations.[49][52] In fact. is a descendant of the Aramaic alphabet.[11] By the end of the First Temple period the Aramaic script. also known as the Assyrian or Square script..[8] Presumably papyrus was common in the pre-exilic period. the consistent use of a Waw with a concave top[. gradually displacing PaleoHebrew.[4][5] That the language of the tablet is Hebrew is suggested by the presence of the words ‫" תעש‬to do" ‫" עבד‬servant". dated to the 10th century BCE. while the later books were written directly in the later Assyrian script.[8] Pentateuch fragments in the ancient Hebrew script dating to the 3rd or 2nd century BCE were found in Qumran."[48][nb 7] The ancient Hebrew script was in continuous use until the early 6th century BCE.5 cm trapezoid pottery sherd (ostracon) has five lines of text written in ink written in the ProtoCanaanite alphabet (the old form of the Phoenician alphabet). the end of the First Temple period.[11][49][nb 8] The only papyrus document from the First Temple period that has survived was found in the Wadi Murabba'at.[11][49] The modern Hebrew alphabet.[52] The epigraphic material in the ancient Hebrew script is poor in the Second Temple Period.[48][49][50] The Paleo-Hebrew alphabet's main differences from from the Phoenician script were "a curving to the left of the dowstrokes in the 'long-legged' letter-signs.[8] However.The earliest Hebrew writing yet discovered. as well as the use of divine names in texts otherwise in other scripts. which evolved into the modern Samaritan alphabet. [51] In the Second Temple Period the Paleo-Hebrew script gradually fell into disuse.[49][53] . the adoption of the script by the Samaritans may have influenced the Rabbis' negative view of the script and lead to its final rejection. was found at Khirbet Qeiyafa in July 2008 by Israeli archaeologist Yossi Garfinkel. and is dated to the 7th century BCE. and a] x-shaped Taw.[4][43][44][45] The 15 cm x 16.[49] Some Qumran texts written in the Assyrian script write the tetragrammaton and some other divine names in Paleo-Hebrew.[11] According to tradition.[49] [52] The Samaritans retained the ancient Hebrew alphabet.

the scribal tradition for writing the Torah gradually developed.[50] As a result.]36[]46[ >י‬is generally used for both long [iː] and sere (‫ .[61][nb 10] However.[60][nb 9] The Hebrew Bible was presumably originally written in a more defective orthography than found in any of the texts known today. but gradually the letters ‫.(‫ ]אש )= איש‬The relative terms defective and full/plene are used to refer to alternative spellings of a word with less or more matres lectionis.[61] In the Qumran tradition. e.[60] Phoenician inscriptions from the tenth century BCE do not indicate matres lectiones in the middle or the end of a word: ‫ . compare Siloam inscription ‫ זדה‬versus 60]. הביא‬e. though this was not always a consistent rule (as reflected in the Qumran practice).[54] A number of regional "book-hand" styles developed for the purpose of Torah manuscripts and occasionally other literary works. in particular. *bayt 'house' shifted to ‫ בית‬in construct state but retained its spelling. ע. ש‬could each mark two different phonemes. ע‬became uniphonic. ‫ )עליהא‬and in medial position (e. while the Masoretes added the shin dot to distinguish between the two varieties of the letter.(‫]נקי‬ . ‫ כוחי‬vs. o.[62] The Masoretic text mostly uses vowel letters for long vowels.)אוניה‬are usually represented by <‫ >ו<. when the following syllable contains a vowel letters (like in ‫' קלות‬voices' rather than ‫ )קולות‬or when a vowel letter already marks a consonant (so ‫גוים‬ ֹ ֹ 'nations' rather than ‫ . the letters <‫ >ח. with the Samaritan Pentateuch and its forebearers being more full and the Qumran tradition showing the most liberal use of vowel letters.g. there are a number of exceptions. for instance the Mesha inscription has =) ‫בנתי )= בניני(.א. פוה. respectively. ו.)אבילים. ירח )= ירחו‬Matres lectionis were later added word-finally. מית‬and final [iː] is often written as -‫ יא‬in analogy to ‫ . Masoretic 65].)ז ) = זה(. 63](‫ ]יאתום‬Pre-Samaritan and Samaritan texts show full spellings in many categories (e. including short holem (‫ . ‫ .)מושה. לפנ )= לפני‬similarly to the Hebrew Gezer Calendar: 60].While spoken Hebrew continued to evolve into Mishnaic Hebrew.)*גויים‬and within the Bible there is often little consistency in spelling. the 22 letters of the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet numbered less than the consonant phonemes of ancient Biblical Hebrew.[54] The Phoenician script had dropped five characters by the twelfth century BCE.[55] After a sound shift the letters ‫ ח.]36[]46[ >ה‬is found finally in forms like ‫חוטה‬ (Tiberian ‫( חוטא( . older Phoenician and Moabite texts show how First Temple period Hebrew would have been written. ה.כיא‬sometimes ‫ >מיא. distinct from the calligraphic styles used mainly for private purposes. The old Babylonian vocalization wrote a superscript ‫ ס‬above the ‫ ש‬to indicate it took the value /s/. קורה‬Tiberian ‫ . כול‬and hatef qames (‫ .[50][60] It is thought that this was a product of phonetic development: for instance.g. known as matres lectionis when used in this function.)חוכמה. showing the tendency to mark all long vowels except for word-internal /aː/. י‬ also became used to indicate vowels. reflecting the language's twenty-two consonantal phonemes.[56][57] The Aramaic script began developing special final forms for certain letters in the 5th century BCE.)קורא‬while <‫ >א‬may be used for a-quality in final position (e.[54] The Sephardi and Ashkenazi book-hand styles were later adapted to printed fonts after the invention of the printing press. the Masoretic text is generally the most conservative in its use of matres lectionis. בללה‬ ‫ .היא.g.and u-type vowels.g.[60] Of the extant textual witnesses of the Hebrew Bible.[58][59] The original Hebrew alphabet consisted only of consonants.(?‫ ]שערמ )= שעורים(. but (except in Samaritan Hebrew) ‫ ש‬remained multiphonic.[61] While no examples of early Hebrew ּ orthography have been found.)בלילה‬however at this stage they were not yet used word-medially.g. חושך‬qames hatuf (‫ . Masoretic ‫ כחי‬in Gen 49:3) but only rarely show full spelling of the Qumran type (but see Gen 24:41b Samaritan ‫ נקיא‬vs.

but various sources attest them at various stages of development. the Sephardic tradition's distinction between qamatz gadol and qatan is pre-Tiberian. mobile šwa was pronounced as a ultrashort copy of the following vowel.g. known as superlinear vocalizations because their vocalization marks are placed above the letters.‫]ארריך~ארריך. All of these systems together are used to reconstruct the original vocalization of Biblical Hebrew. The Tiberian vowel-sign šwa (ּ) was used both to indicate lack of a vowel (quiescent šwa) and as another symbol to represent the phoneme /ă/. Babylonian. various other systems of pronunciation have evolved over time.18–19).[73] In the Palestinian system these echo vowels were written with full vowel letters. and Palestinian reading traditions are extinct. Sephardi. and the only system still in use. semantic structure. and Samaritan traditions. and as [ĭ] preceding /j/. also represented by ḥataf pataḥ (ֲ).</ref> Pronunciation of šwa is attested by alternations in manuscripts like 72]. is the Tiberian vocalization system. for example. Greek and Latin transcriptions of words from the Biblical text provide early evidence of the nature of Biblical Hebrew vowels.[14][68] There are also various extant manuscripts making use of less common vocalization systems (Babylonian. and Palestinian). The modern reading traditions do not stem solely from the Tiberian system. likely a copy of a preexisting text from before 100 BCE[nb 11]). the Ophel inscription. Modern Hebrew pronunciation is also used by some to read Biblical texts. In the 7th and 8th centuries CE various systems of vocalic notation were developed to indicate vowels in the Biblical text. there is evidence from the rendering of proper nouns in the Koine Greek Septuagint (3rd-2nd centuries BCE[66]). notably the Yemenite.g. Ashkenazi. ואשמעה~ואשמעה‬ ָ ּ ָ ּ ּ ֲ Use of ḥataf vowels was considered mandatory under gutturals but optional under other letters. In particular. In addition to marking vowels. and paleo-Hebrew script documents from Qumran. the Tiberian system also uses cantillation marks.[71][72] Before a laryngeal-pharyngeal. there is not direct evidence for Biblical texts being written without word division. the Samaritan reading tradition is independent of these systems.[68][69][nb 14] These systems often record vowels at different stages of historical development. [74][75] At an early stage.[14][68][nb 12][nb 13] In addition. for instance. and was occasionally notated with a separate vocalization system. see Yahalom (1997:12. the Siloam inscription. and the musical motifs used in formal recitation of the text. documents written in the paleo-Hebrew script were divided by short vertical lines and later by dots. which serve to mark word stress.[76] Word division using spaces was commonly used from the beginning of the 7th century BCE for documents in the Aramaic script. e. e. best preserved.[72] By contrast.In general the vowels of Biblical Hebrew were not indicated in the original text.[76] Word division was not used in Phoenician inscriptions. however.[67] The most prominent.[76] While the Tiberian. ḥataf ָ ּ ִ ּ ּ pataḥ would only used be used when pronounced [ă]. the name Samson is recorded in Greek as Σαμψών Sampsōn with the first vowel as /a/. created by scholars known as Masoretes around 850 CE.[77] However. ‫/ תּדמיו֫ני‬θăðammĭjuni/. ‫[ ובָקעה‬uvɔqɔ̆ʕɔ]. . and the Greek alphabet transcription of the Hebrew Biblical text contained in the Secunda (3rd century CE. the only orthographic system used to mark vowels is the Tiberian vocalization. as reflected by the Mesha Stone. ass suggested by Nachmanides in his introduction to the Torah. while Tiberian ‫/ שמשון‬ʃimʃon/ with /i/ shows the effect of the law of ּ ִ [70] attenuation.

[78] Originally.[38][79] In all Jewish reading traditions /ɬ/ and /s/ have merged completely.[nb 15] This probably happened after the original Old Aramaic phonemes /θ.[nb 16] It is known to have occurred in Hebrew by the 2nd century CE.[83] and most likely occurred after the loss of Hebrew /χ. z.g. ʁ/ circa 200 BCE. [82] /ɬ/ began merging with /s/ in Late Biblical Hebrew. but possibly pharyngealized or velarized. as indicated by interchange of orthographic ‹‫ ›ש‬and ‹‫ . Isaac ‫ = יצחק‬Ἰσαάκ versus Rachel ‫ = רחל‬Ῥαχήλ). uvular and pharyngeal.[84] After a certain point this . is attested by internal and comparative evidence. tsʼ/). Biblical Hebrew consonants[38][39] Dental/ PostVelar/ PharynLabial Palatal Glottal Alveolar alveolar Uvular geal Nasals m n voiceless ʔ p t k voiced Stops ɡ b d [38][39] emphatic tʼ kʼ/q[38][39] voiceless ʃ (f) (θ) s ɬ[38][39] (x)[38][39] χ[38] ħ h [38][39] [38] ʕ Fricatives voiced (ɣ) ʁ (v) (ð) z [38] emphatic sʼ Approximants w l j Trill r The phonetic nature of some Biblical Hebrew consonants is disputed. and this became the rule in Rabbinic Hebrew. ð/ disappeared in the 7th century BC.›ס‬possibly under the influence of Aramaic. However the uvular phonemes /χ/ ‫ ח‬and /ʁ/ ‫ ע‬merged with their pharyngeal ones /ħ/ ‫ ח‬and /ʕ/ ‫ ע‬respectively circa 200 BCE. sʼ/ were affricated (/ts. the Hebrew letters ‫ ח‬and ‫ ע‬each had two possible phonemes.[78][79] Some argue that /s. in particular it is preserved as a lateral fricative in Modern South Arabian dialects.[38] Allophonic spirantization of /b ɡ d k p t/ to [v ɣ ð x f θ] (known as begadkefat spirantization) developed sometime during the lifetime of Biblical Hebrew under the influence of Aramaic. This is observed by noting that these phonemes are distinguished consistently in the Septuagint of the Pentateuch (e. dz.[edit] Phonology The phonology as reconstructed for Biblical Hebrew is as follows: [edit] Consonants Consonants lost and gained during the lifetime of Biblical Hebrew are color-coded respectively. but this becomes more sporadic in later books and is generally absent in Ezra and Nehemiah. unmarked in Hebrew orthography.[80][81] The phoneme /ɬ/. also unmarked by Hebrew orthography. however in Samaritan Hebrew /ɬ/ has instead merged with /ʃ/. The so called "emphatics" were likely glottalized.

[86] However the testimony of Jerome indicates that this was a ַ regionalism and not universal. followed by /ʕ/. a glide. Babylonian. merges with /e/ in the Palestinian tradition and with /a/ in the Babylonian tradition[96][97][nb 19] [nb 20] 1.[87] In the Tiberian tradition /ħ ʕ h ʔ r/ cannot be geminate. often creating a long vowel. as the orthography alternates <α> and <ε>[95][nb 18] 1.[88][nb 17] [edit] Vowels The vowel system of Biblical Hebrew has changed considerably over time. The following vowels are reconstructed for the earliest stage of Hebrew. with vowels absent in some traditions color-coded. and the Samaritan tradition. where /o/ stems from a contracted 2. attested by the Secunda. and finally /ħ/. ‫/ ידו‬jedu/ 'his hand' ‫/ ידיו‬jedo/ 'his hands'. (The Babylonian and Palestinian systems also existed in more Tiberian-influenced versions.g. Geminate consonants are phonemically contrastive in Biblical Hebrew. as evidenced by changes in the quality of the preceding vowel. various vocalization traditions (Tiberian. possibly pronounced [æ]. /h/. historically first /r ʔ/ degeminated. e.[85] This is evidenced both by the Tiberian vocalization's consistent use of word-initial spirants after a vowel in sandhi. Proto-Hebrew Secunda Hebrew and Palestinian Samaritan Hebrew[94] [91][92][93] Hebrew Front Back Front Back Front Back Front Back Close i iː u uː Close iː uː Close i u Close i iː u uː CloseCloseCloseMid e eː (o)1 (eː) oː e eː o oː e o mid mid mid Open a aː ɒ ɒː 1 Open a aː Open a aː Open(ə)2 ɛ1 ɔ2 Reduced mid Reduced ə Open a4 ă3 ɔ̆3 (ɛ̆)3 Reduced ə3 [89] [90] 1. In the Secunda /w j z/ are never geminate. In Samaritan Hebrew. or null. Babylonian. either into /ʔ/.[85] The Dead Sea scrolls show evidence of confusion of the phonemes /ħ ʕ h ʔ/.g. and Palestinian). Confusion of gutterals was also attested in later Mishnaic Hebrew and Aramaic (see Eruvin 53b). ‫ חמר‬ħmr for Masoretic ‫/ אמר‬ʔɔˈmar/ 'he said'.) Tiberian. as well as Rabbi Saadia Gaon's attestation to the use of this alternation in Tiberian Aramaic at the beginning of the tenth century CE. /u/ and /o/ only contrast in open post-tonic syllables. except that original /ʕ ħ/ sometimes have reflex /ʕ/ before /a ɒ/. e.alternation became marginally phonemic in word-medial and final position. merges with /a/ or . /ʔ ħ h ʕ/ have generally all merged. but in word-initial position they remained allophonic.

‫]הגר‬ Various more specific conditioned shifts of vowel quality have also occurred.g. */libːu/ > /lab/ 'heart'. the Samaria ostraca show /jeːn/ < */jajn/ for Southern /jajin/ 'wine'.[107] This was carried through completely in Samaritan Hebrew but met more resistance in other traditions such as the Babylonian and Qumran traditions. possibly [ɐ]?[citation needed] Proto-Semitic likely had a vowel system with three qualities and two lengths. e. *bint > ‫/ בת‬bat/ ַ 'daughter').[111] It is less common in ָ ִ the Babylonian vocalization. and Samaritan Hebrew shows instead the shift */aj/ > /iː/./o/ in the Palestinian tradition[97][nb 19][98] 3. results from both /i/ and /e/ in closed post-tonic syllables[100] 4. final unstressed short vowels dropped out in some words. Hebrew shows the Canaanite shift whereby */aː/ often shifted to /oː/).g. as demonstrated by its presence in the Amarna letters (c. e.[89] The short vowels */a i u/ tended to lengthen in various positions: first in pretonic position in an open syllable. In particular.g.[110][nb 24] In some traditions the short vowel /*a/ tended to shift to /i/ in unstressed closed syllables: this is known as attenuation. making it possible for long vowels to occur in closed syllables.[99] In other environments. e. It is common in the Tiberian tradition. but exceptions are frequent. */ʃabʕat/ > Tiberian ‫/ שבּעה‬ʃivˈʕɔ/ 'seven'. e.[20][106] Original */u/ tended to shift to /i/ (e. 1365 BCE). [99] 2. Tiberian ‫/ מפ ּתּח‬mafˈteaħ/ 'key' versus ‫/ מפ ּתח‬mifˈtaħ/ 'opening (construct)'.[108] ֶ This is absent in the transcriptions of the Secunda.e.g. /ʃabʕɔ/ 'seven'. e. /ə/ (pronounced as [ɛ] in (later?) Palestinian Hebrew dipthong. The Tiberian tradition has the reduced vowel phonemes /ă ɔ̆/ and marginal /ɛ̆/.[103][104] The Proto-Hebrew vowel system is thus reconstructed as */a aː oː i iː u uː/ (and possibly rare */eː/).g.[105][nb 22][nb 23]Samaritan /ə/ results from the neutralization of the distinction between /i/ and /e/ in closed post-tonic syllables. and differences in Greek and Latin transcriptions demonstrate that it began quite late. /*ʔamint/ > ‫/ אֱמת‬ɛ̆mɛt/ 'truth'). the conditions of this shift are disputed. ‫ אֹמר‬and ֶ ‫' אִמרה‬word'. ‫' חוץ‬outside' and ‫' חיצון‬outer') beginning in the second half of the second ָ ּ millennium BCE.[101][102] Later. but the scope and results of this shift varied dialectually.g. In the Samaritan tradition Philippi's law is applied consistently. while Palestinian and Babylonian have one. Dipthongs were frequently monopthongized. ַ ַ ַ ִ . ‫דור‬ /dor/ ‫/ דורות‬durot/. and later in stressed open syllables. /o/ appears in closed syllables and /u/ in open syllables.[23][nb 21] This shift had occurred by the fourteenth century BCE. where the long vowels only occurred in open syllables.g.g.[107] Philippi's law is the process by which original */i/ in closed stressed syllables shifts to /a/ (e. or sometimes in the Tiberian tradition /ɛ/ (e. i.g.[111] Attenuation generally did not occur before /i~e/. */a aː i iː u uː/.[109] but there is evidence that the law's onset predates the Secunda. e. /bit/ ‫בית‬ 'house' /abbət/ ‫' הבית‬the house' /ger/ ‫/ גר‬aggər/ 100].

[116] The ultimate stress of later traditions of Hebrew usually resulted from the loss of final vowels in many words. and has predominantly penultimate stress.[119] Biblical Hebrew has a typical Semitic morphology. ‫ˈ/ שמש‬ʃɛmɛʃ/ 'sun'.[113][nb 26] This is absent in the Secunda and in Samaritan Hebrew but present in the transcriptions of Jerome.g.[122] The vowel after /m/ is normally /a/. e. a sequence of consonants with a general associated meaning. e.[117] ֫ ָ Stress is most commonly ultimate but penultimate stress is also frequent.[120] Roots are modified by affixation to form words.[121] The most common nominal prefix used is /m/. ‫/ י ַאֲזין‬jaʔăzin/ 'he will ִ listen' ‫/ פ ָעלו‬pɔʕɔ̆lo/ 'his work' but ‫' י ַאּדיר‬he will make glorious' ‫/ ר ָחבו‬rɔħbo/ 'its breadth'.g.g. ‫' מתנה‬gift'.[112][nb 25] In the Tiberian tradition /e i o u/ take offglide /a/ before /h ħ ʕ/.[120] Roots are usually triconsonantal. and abstractions (‫' משפט‬judgement'). ‫ˈ/ בָ֫נו‬bɔnu/ 'in us'.[116] For the purposes of vowel quality shifts. Ultimate stress sometimes results when the last two syllables have coalesced. fiʿl 'act.[118] Segolate nouns with an epenthetic vowel preserve the original stress on the first syllable. noun'.[nb 29] Tiberian Hebrew has phonemic stress. particle'. but less so than in most European languages.[111] Attenuation is rarely present in Samaritan Hebrew. and ḥarf 'motion. preserving the location of proto-Semitic stress. Despite sharing the loss of final vowels with Tiberian Hebrew.g. e.[115][nb ּ ִ ּ 27][nb 28] [edit] Stress Proto-Hebrew generally had penultimate stress. e. [edit] Grammar [edit] Morphology Medieval grammarians of Arabic and Hebrew classified words as belonging to three parts of speech: Arabic ism 'name. ‫/ הָא֫הֱלה‬hɔˈʔohɛ̆lɔ/ 'into the tent'. instruments (‫' מפתח‬key').[106][114] In the Tiberian tradition an ultrashort echo vowel is sometimes added to clusters where the first element is a guttural. characterized by the use of roots.[119][119] Adjectives differ from substantives. or in the case of ‫ מושב‬as /o/ (contracted from . Samaritan Hebrew has generally not preserved Proto-Semitic stress. used for substantives of location (‫מושב‬ 'assembly'). while noun patterns are less predictable. Most words in Biblical Hebrew are formed from a root.[117][nb 30] There does not seem to be ָ ֹ evidence for stress in the Secunda varying from that of the Tiberian tradition.[120] Verbal patterns are more productive and consistent. ‫/ מקדש‬maqdaʃ/. but appears sometimes as /i/.g.and quinqiconsonantal roots. e. other grammarians have included more categories. verb'. ‫/ בנו‬bɔˈnu/ 'they built' vs. words in the construct state are treated as if the stress fell immediately on the first syllable following the word.and often was blocked before a geminate. with biconsonantal roots less common (depending on how some words are analyzed) and rare cases of quadri. e. antipenultimate stress is marginal but exists.g.

/ʔeresʼ/ 'land' = Tiberian ‫ אֶרץ‬Deut.[citation needed] The traditions differ on the form of segolate nouns.[125][nb 31] Final */-a/ is preserved in ‫ˈ/ לַ֫י ּלה‬lajlɔ/.g.g.*/aw/). Verbs inflect for gender. Masculine plurals are marked with the ending -/iːm/ (-/eː/ in construct form).g.g.[129] This may reflect dialectual variation or phonetic versus phonemic transcriptions. 22:28). */-a/ in the accusative (used also for adverbials).[122] The prefix /t/ is used to denote the action of the verb it is derived from. nouns preserve */-i/ in forms like 126]. /ħepasʼ/ 'item' = Tiberian ‫ חפץ‬Jer. ֫‫עמ‬ ָ ִ ‫' נו‬with us'. as shown by the reflexes of */ɬadaju/ (‫ שָֹדה‬in ֶ absolute but ‫ שדה‬in construct) and the reflexes of */jadu/ (‫ יד‬and 127](‫ ]יד‬However forms like ֫‫י ָד‬ ּ ּ ָ ַ ּ [128] ‫ נו‬show that this was not yet a feature of Proto-Hebrew.[125] Mimation. e. The anaptyctic /ɛ/ of the Tiberian tradition in segolates appears in the Septuagint (3rd century BCE) but not the Hexapla (2nd century CE). Biblical Hebrew does not have broken plurals like in Arabic. and Arabic. and the ‫ א‬prefix is called either 'prothetic' or 'prosthetic'.g.g. as evidenced in Akkadian. <‫>אוהול‬ for Tiberian <‫ˈ/ >אהל‬ʔohɛl/ 'tent'. -i/ were dropped first. although segolates may have originally formed plurals with ablaut. ‫' אצבע‬finger'.[129] Both the Palestinian and Babylonian traditions have an anaptyctic vowel in segolates. e.g.[122] In the latter case it appears that this stems from vowel epenthesis. ‫' עגנ‬to shut oneself off. e. The Proto-Semitic dual number is preserved marginally in the plurals of body parts and other paired objects.g. and in the "connective vowels' of some prepositions (originally adverbials). Gender marking is productive on adjectives. ‫' אכזב‬deceptive'. ֶ ֹ . however this form is used even when more than two are being referred to.g. as shown by early Egyptian transcriptions (c. most often with the ending *-/at/ > BH /aː/~/at/ (status constructus) in the singular and */aːt/ > TH /oːt/ in the plural. In proto-Semitic nouns were marked for case: in the singular the markers were */-u/ in the nominative. and later */-a/ was elided as well. ‫' אגמ‬to be sad' vs. ּ [122] Nouns are marked as definite with the prefix /ha-/ followed by gemination of the initial consonant of the noun.[122] Prefixed ‫/ ע‬ʕ/occurs perhaps as a mark of forcefulness. and often occurs in quadriliteral animal names. e. e. final */-u. a nominal suffix */-m/ of unclear meaning. ‫' תודה‬thanksgiving' (< ydy).[123] The Amarna letters show that this was probably still present in Hebrew circa 1350 BCE. more common for initial-/w/ verbs. ‫' עקרב‬scorpion'.[122] Prefixed /ʔ/ is used in adjectives. ‫' גננ‬to cover' vs. ֶ ּ The Qumran tradition sometimes shows some type of back epenthetic vowel when the first vowel is back. Ugaritic. and feminine nouns tend to be marked. ‫' עגמ‬to grieve'. ‫' עטלף‬bat'. and */-i/ in the genitive. /e/ in the Palestinian tradition (e. e. but there is no indication of its presence after 1800 BCE. and also occurs in nouns with initial sibilants.[124] In the development of Hebrew. ‫ˈ/ ג ֶתר‬gɛθɛr/ = Γαθερ versus ‫כ ּסל‬ ֶ ֶ /ˈkesɛl/ = Χεσλ (Ps 49:14).‫[]י ָד֫נו‬nb 32] Construct state nouns lost case ּ vowels at an early period (similar to Akkadian). e. 1800 BCE) of Jerusalem as Urušalimim. Biblical Hebrew has two genders: masculine and feminine. 26:15) and /a/ ֶ [130] in Babylonian (e. perhaps as a prefix.g. this marker is also found in other Northwest Semitic languages. was found in early Canaanite. originally meaning 'at night' but in prose replacing ‫/ לַ֫יל‬ ָ ˈlajil/ 'night'. nouns stemming from roots with two final consonants. ‫' עכבר‬mouse'. e.

as an alternative to appending it to the preposition that signals a definite direct object. ‫' עמי‬with me') and to nouns to indicate possession (e.[133] The tense/aspect that is formed by prefixes could denote either the present (especially frequentative) or the future. The latter construction is the one generally used in Modern Hebrew. whereas ordinary possession is more commonly expressed analytically with the preposition shel 'of' (etymologically consisting of the relativizer she. number. Some examples of differences are: • • • • In Biblical Hebrew.'that' and the preposition le.[131][132] Possession in pronouns is expressed with pronominal suffixes added to the noun. 1350 BCE. and gender. archaic or poetic style.g. including the pronominal suffixes. intensity.Verbs are marked for subject person. Modern Hebrew tends to reserve this construction for phrases where the two components form a unified concept.g.[133] Biblical Hebrew often expresses a pronoun direct object by appending a pronominal suffix directly to the verb. while in modern Hebrew it is . Proto-Semitic */ʃ/ shifted to Hebrew /h/ in grammatical morphemes. literary. as in the previous case.[124] in Biblical Hebrew traces are left. possession is normally expressed with status constructus. and a set of "bound" pronominal suffixes which are added to prepositions (e. as well as frequentative past in Biblical Hebrew (some scholars argue that it simply denoted imperfective aspect). and cohortative verb prefix-endings were distinguished by short vowels before ca. the opposite is not always the case. ‫' ביתי‬my house'). a construction in which the possessed noun occurs in a phonologically reduced. "absolute" form. reflexivity and passive voice. This */h/ was then elided in the pronominal suffixes. leading to idiosyncratic sound shifts: */-a-huː/ > /-oː/ */-a-haː/ > /-aː/ */-a-hɛm/ > /-aːm/ */-eː-hɛm/ > /-eːm/ */-iː-huː/ > /-iːw/ */-iː-hɛm/ > /-iːm/ */-uː-hɛm/ > /-uːm/ */-ay-huː/ > /-aːw/ [edit] Syntax Whereas most Biblical Hebrew constructions are also permissible in Modern Hebrew at least in formal. "construct" form and is followed by the possessor noun in its normal. Biblical Hebrew also has a system of verb stem derivations expressing meanings such as causativity. Modern Hebrew tends to reserve this for a limited number of nouns. The plain.'to'). optional objective pronominal suffixes to the verb. but usually prefers to use the preposition shel. Biblical Hebrew has a set of independent subject pronouns. jussive.

[136] [edit] Sample text The following is a sample from Psalm 18 as appears in the Masoretic text with Medieval Tiberian niqqud and cantillation and the Greek transcription of the Secunda of the Hexapla along with its reconstructed pronunciation. αηλ θαμμιν (*-μ) 30. [haːʔeːl tamːiːm darkoː ‫אִמר ַֽתיה ֥וה צרו ֑פה מ ֥גן‬ ּ ָ ָ ּ ָ ּ ‫ ּ ־‬σερουφα μαγεν ου λαχολ ʔemərat **** sʼəruːfaː maːɡen αωσιμ βω huː ləkol haħoːsiːm boː] ‫֝֗הוא ל ּ ֤כל ׀ הַח ֬סים בו׃‬ ֹֽ ִ ֹ ֹ ‫֤ 23 ֣מי ֭אֱלוהַ מבַל ּע ֣די‬ ּ ֲ ִ ֹ ִ ‫כי‬ ִ YHWH ουμι σουρ ‫ יה ֑וה ו ֥מי ֝֗צור זול ָ ֥תי‬ζουλαθι ελωννου (*ִ ִ ָ ּ ηνου) ‫אֱלהינו׃‬ ּֽ ֹ 32. The suffixed form denotes what is commonly translated as past in both cases. when Old Aramaic borrowed the Canaanite alphabet it still had interdentals. [kiː ʔatːaː taːʔiːr neːriː **** ‫03בּך ָ א ֣רץ ג ּ ֑דוד‬ ֻ ֭ ‫כ ִֽי־‬ ‫֝ובאל ֗הי אֲדל ֶגשור׃‬ ֽ‫ַ ־‬ ַ ֹ ּֽ ʔaloːhaj aɡiːh ħoʃkiː] 30.• • always future. while Modern Hebrew is SVO. though some scholars argue that it denoted perfective aspect. χι αθθα θαειρ νηρι ‫יה ֥וה ֝אֱל ֗הי י ַ ֥גיהַ חשכ ִֽי׃‬ ּ ָ ִ ַ ֹ ָ ּ YHWH ελωαι αγι οσχι 29.[134] Biblical Hebrew employs the so-called waw consecutive construction. χι μι ελω μεββελαδη 32. [kiː miː ʔaloːh mebːalʕadeː **** wəmiː sʼuːr zuːlaːtiː ʔaloːheːnuː] [edit] See also • List of liturgical Hebrew cognates [edit] Notes 1. 60 CE. which does not mention these additions. in which the conjunction "and" seemingly reverses the tense of a verb (though its exact meaning is a matter of debate). Blau (2010:7) 2. ^ However it is noteworthy that Akkadian shares many of these sound shifts but is less closely related to Hebrew than Aramaic. while dated manuscripts with vocalization are found in the beginning of the tenth century. This is not typical of Modern Hebrew. ^ This is known because the final redaction of the Talmud. see Blau (2010:19) 3. Tiberian Hebrew[137] Secunda[95] ‫92אתה תָ ֣איר נ ּ ֑רי‬ ִ ִ ָ ֭ ‫כ ִֽי־‬ 29.. [kiː baːk ʔaːruːsʼ ɡəduːd wəbaloːhaj ʔadːalːeɡ ʃuːr] Pronunciation[95] (IPA) ‫ הָאּ ֮ל תָ ֪מים ֫דר ּ ֥כו‬δερχω εμαραθ YHWH ֹ ַ ִ 31 31.[135] The default word order in Biblical Hebrew is VSO. was ca. for example. but marked them with what they merged with . ^ However it should be noted that. χι βαχ αρους γεδουδ ουβελωαι εδαλλεγ σουρ 31.

see Tov (1992:40) 15. The same phenomenon also occurred when the Arabs adopted the Nabatean alphabet. which is cross-linguistically rare. ‫' ראש‬head' from ֹ original */raʔʃ/. For instance 'ox' was written ‫ שר‬but pronounced with an initial /θ/. 10.g. However Blau argues that it is possible that lenited /k/ and /χ/ could coexist even if pronounced identically. For example. ^ This also might explain why /a/ > /a/ while /aː/ > /ɔ/ in Tiberian Hebrew[citation needed] . e. 12. see Rendsburg (1997:72) 5. Edomites. but this is unlikely. ^ As a consequence this would leave open the possibility that other proto-Semitic phonemes (such as */ð/) may have been preserved regionally at one point. ^ As an example of the Rabbis' view of the script.g. Blau (2010:7) The Babylonian vocalization occurred in two main types (simple / einfach and complex / kompliziert). ^ Or perhaps Hurrian. see Sanhedrin 21b "The Torah was originally given to Israel in this [Assyrian] script. When they sinned. while the anaptyctic vowel is found in Old Aramaic and Deir Alla.g. ָ with /h/ original /*a/ also remains short. ʁ/ and /ħ. ʕ/. however. See Blau (2010:74–75). 4. Most cases. There is evidence that the text of the Secunda was written before 100 BCE. Ammonites. ^ At times the Moabites. since one would be recognized as an alternating allophone (as apparently is the case in Nestorian Syriac). ^ In the Babylonian and Palestinian systems only the most important vowels were written. see Blau (2010:118). a merger which had already begun around 100 BCE. ^ Such contraction is also found in Ugaritic. a recension of the Old Testament compiled by Origen in the 3rd century CE. ^ Ktiv male. 17. ‫/ האב‬hɔˈʔɔv/ 'the father' < /*haʔːab/. see Janssens (1982:14). ^ The Secunda is a transliteration of the Hebrew Biblical text contained in the Hexapla. Sáenz-Badillos (1993:44) 6.g. the El-Amarna letters. ^ Almost all vocalized manuscripts use the Masoretic Text. it became ‫". ^ There are rare-cases of <‫ >א‬being used medially as a true vowel letter. Sáenz-Badillos (1993:97–99) 13.רועץ‬ 9. see Yardeni (1997:25) 8. while in the Secunda they are used to represent Hebrew /eː aj/. ^ The Palestinian system has two main subtypes and shows great variation. and in Phoenician. or else [x. 14. ^ The vowel before originally geminate /r ʔ/ usually shows compensatory lengthening. see Dolgoposky (1999:72–3). e. ʁ] would have to be contrastive. See Blau (2010:86). unlike in Phoenician where this root is only nominal 7. of <‫ >א‬being used as a vowel letter stem from ָ conservative spelling of words which originally contained /ʔ/. e. with various subgroups differing as to their affinity with the Tiberian tradition. ^ According to the generally accepted view. despite the later date of the Hexapla. χ] and [ɣ. 16. However there are some vocalized Samaritan manuscripts from the Middle Ages. ^ used in the tablet as a verb. with /ʕ/ preceding /*i/ tends to remain short. and /ħ/ generally does not cause compensatory lengthening. ‫ דאג‬for the ָ usual ‫' דג‬fish'.in Canaanite. e. by the time of Origen <η αι> were pronounced [iː ɛː]. 11. ‫' י ּר ַחם‬he will have compassion'. and Philistines would also use the PaleoHebrew script. the Hebrew term for full spelling. see Blau (2010:56). See Blau (2010:81–83) ּ 18. has become de rigueur in Modern Hebrew. it is unlikely begadkefat spirantization occurred before the merger of /χ.

‫ . ^ Additionally. ‫פה‬ 'here' Tiberian /po/ vs.79) 25.g. stressed short vowels in an open syllables were reduced and lost the stress. ^ It is evident that this epenthesis must have been a late phenomenon. 26. ^ While the vowels /a e i ɔ o u/ certainly have phonemic status in the Tiberian tradition. Ben-Ḥayyim (2000:76.19. Even in Tiberian Hebrew doublets are found. its scope of application is different in Samaritan and Tiberian Hebrew (e. e. This suggests that beged kefet spirantization was ֹ ּ no longer automatic by the time that this epenthesis occurred. see Blau (2010:267) 32. e. Samaritan /fa/). ^ Parallels to Aramaic syllable structure suggest pretonic lengthening may have occurred in the Second Temple period. By a later development. following the suffix */a/. and the Babylonian tradition to the modern Yemenite pronunciation. See Blau (2010:143–144) 31. short stressed vowels were reduced and lost stress. where ‫ארצה‬ appears with /h/.g. see Ben-Ḥayyim (2000:83–86). ‫/ עםיו ֫ר ּדי בור‬ʕim-ˈjorăde vor/ 'with those who go down into the pit' ‫מטעני חרב‬ ּ ‫ִ ־‬ ֶ ָ֫ ּ ֲ ֹ֫ ּ /măˈtʼoʕăne ˈħɔrɛv/ 'pierced with a sword'. 28. This is evidenced by Ugaritic orthography. e. 27. see Blau (2010:128–129) 24.g. ^ The only known case where Philippi's Law does not apply is in the word ‫/ קן‬qen/ < */qinn-u/ 'nest'. Note for example that the rule whereby a word's stress shifts to a preceding open syllable to avoid being adjacent to another stressed syllable skips over ultrashort vowels. see Blau (2010:79) 29. */ʃim-u/ > /ʃam/ 'name' (but */ʃim-u/ > /ʃem/ 'reputation'!). 22. leading to ultimate stress in forms like ‫/* < קטלו‬qaˈtʼaluː/ 30. /ɛ/ has phonemic value in final stressed position but in other positions it may reflect loss of the opposition /a : i/. ^ In fact. ^ This is known as 'pataḥ furtivum'.ישועתה‬may have originally terminated in consonantal */-h/ which was later elided.g. yielding /qaːtʼəˈluː/. See Janssens (1982:56–57). 23. The first vowel */a/ first lengthened because it was in a pretonic syllable. ^ a b In this respect the Palestinian tradition corresponds to the modern Sephardi pronunciation. The shift */i/ > /a/ has been extended by analogy to similar forms. ‫/ תּחבל‬taħbol/ 'you take in pledge'. yielding */qaːˈtʼaluː/. see Blau (2010:85). e. see Blau ּ (2010:83). ^ It has been suggested that the construct forms ‫ אבי. ּ ָ originating from */qaˈtʼaluː/. ^ This is less common when the consonant following the gutteral is a beged kefet letter. ^ Verbal forms such as ‫ = יפקד‬Samaritan /jifqɒd/ < */jafqud/ may be examples of Barth's law rather than attenuation. 268) . literally 'stolen pataḥ' and perhaps a mistranslation of Hebrew ‫' פתח גנובה‬pataḥ of the stolen [letter]'. ^ This relative chronology is established by forms like ‫( קטלו‬Secunda: /qaːtʼəˈluː/). /kʼanːo(ʔ?)/ = /kʼanːɔ(ʔ?)/ 'zealous'. see Blau (2010:91–92. occurring also in exclamations like ‫ חללה‬and used ornamentally in poetry. it is not clear that a reduced vowel should be considered as comprising a whole syllable. see Blau (2010:111–112) 21. as if ‫ א‬were being inserted.g. see Steiner (1997:147). almost purely consonantal. ^ The unstressed suffix -‫ ה‬in words like ‫' ארצה‬to the earth'.g. ^ In fact. e. since a short vowel preceding a guttural is preserved even though it becomes in an open syllable. 20. אחי‬have long /iː/ lacking in the absolute ‫ אב אח‬because the later stem from forms like */ʔabuːm/ > */ʔabum/ (because Proto-Semitic did not allow long vowels in closed syllables) > */ʔab/ (loss of mimation and final short vowel).

^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Blau (2010:69) 39.69) 36. ^ Sáenz-Badillos (1993:85) 1. ^ a b c d[edit] References ^ An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary. ^ Dolgopolsky 1999. ^ a b Blau (2010:136–137) 24. 2010 5. ^ Rendsburg (1997) 37. ^ a b c d e f Sáenz-Badillos (1993:1–2) 3.47–50) 13. ^ Sáenz-Badillos (1993:55) 31. 7 Jan. pp. ^ Rendsburg (1997:70) 33. ^ Sáenz-Badillos (1993:60) 29.40–41) 32. ^ a b c d e Yardeni (1997:40–44) 12. 1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Rendsburg (1997:70–73) 40. ^ Yardeni (1997:15) 7. ^ a b c Oldest Hebrew inscription' Discovered in Israelite Fort on Philistine border. ^ a b Blau (2010:8) 35. March/April 2010.45.eurekalert. ^ a b c Sáenz-Badillos (1993:52) 27. ^ a b Yardeni (1997:42. ^ Sáenz-Badillos (1993:61) 30. p. ^ Blau (2010:6.. ^ Sáenz-Badillos (1993:80–86) 38. 25. Dover Publications. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Sáenz-Badillos (1993:36–38. in Two Volumes. ^ a b c d Rendsburg (1997:66) 28. ^ a b Blau (2010:18) 10. ^ The Gezer Calendar 8. © 1920 2. ^ Sáenz-Badillos (1993:81) 41. ^ a b c d e Blau (2010:7) 15. ^ a b Blau (2010:25–40) 17. 51-6. Inc. ^ a b Blau (2010:8.96–97) 34. ^ Rendsburg (1997:65) 19. ^ Frank (2003:12) 18. ^ Blau (2010:21) 23. 6.47–50) 21.43–44. ^ a b Waltke & O'Connor (1990:8) 22. ^ Blau (2010:11–12) 16. ^ Sáenz-Badillos (1993:29) 20.php University of Haifa press release. Biblical Archaeology Review. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Yardeni (1997:17–25) 9. . ^ Blau (2010:76) 26. pp. ^ a b c d Blau (2010:8. Sir E. 57-59.119. New York. Vol. ^ a b c d e f Steiner (1997:145) 4. ^ a b Yardeni (1997:59–65) 14. Budge. ^ Tov (1992:118) 11.Wallis.

^ Though some of these translations wrote the tetragrammaton in the square script. ^ Blau (2010:117–118) 72. 30 October 2008. March/April 2010. Retrieved 3 March 2010 46. 43. ^ a b c Blau (2010:6) 62. p. ^ Tov (1992:96. ^ a b c Tov (1992:108–109) 64.84–91) 55. ^ a b c d e Yardeni ( 47. ^ a b c Blau (2010:105–106) 73. 48. Invitation to the Septuagint. ^ Blau (2010:110–111) 78. Jobes and Moises Silva (2001). ^ Karen H. ^ Ben-Ḥayyim (2000:5) 68. ^ Oldest Hebrew inscription' Discovered in Israelite Fort on Philistine border.15. ^ a b Yardeni (1997:13. . ^ http://gath. ^ Sperber (1959:81) 57. ^ Blau (2010:7. see Tov (1992:220) 54. 75–76) 82. ^ a b c Rendsburg (1997:68–69) 69. 67. ^ a b Blau (2010:68) 79. ^ Blau (2010:56. ^ a b Rendsburg (1997:73) 80.222) 63.24–25) 53. ^ Tov (1992:96–97) 66. ^ a b Sáenz-Badillos (1993:136) 65. Daily Mail. ^ Blau (2010:74–75.wordpress. 'Oldest Hebrew script' is found. ^ Yeivins (1980:157–158) 76. ^ Ben-Ḥayyim (2000:6) 70. ^ Rendsburg (1997:73–74) id=OysSAQAAIAAJ&q. Retrieved 3 March 2010 45. ^ a b c Tov (1992:208–209) 77. ^ Blau (2010:118) 74. Paternoster Press. ^ Yardeni (1997:23) 52. ^ Yardeni (1997:38) 59. ^ Waltke & O'Connor (1990:25) 71. ^ Mail Online. ^ Blau (2010) 58. ^ a b c Sáenz-Badillos (1993:16–18) 51.77) 56. Biblical Archaeology Review. 52. 44. ^ Tov (1992:210) 60. ^ a b c Yardeni (1997:65. ^ a b c d e f Tov (1992:221–223) 61.108. ^ Blau (2010:77) 31 October 2008.143) 75. ISBN 1-84227-061-3.17) 49. http://books. ^ a b c d e f g Tov (1992:218–220) 50.^ Sáenz-Badillos (1993:82) ^ [1] ^ BBC News.

^ a b c Blau (2010:132) 112. ^ a b Blau (2010:118–119) 98. 48–49) 100.133) 115. ^ Dolgopolsky 1999. ^ a b Ben-Ḥayyim (2000:44. ^ Blau (2010:83) 114. 73. ^ Blau (2010:151) 103. ^ Blau (2010:84–85) 116. 87. ^ a b Sáenz-Badillos (1993:138–139) 108. . p. ^ Janssens (1982:43. 48) 95. http://www. David. ^ Ben-Ḥayyim (2000:43–44.adathshalom. ^ Yahalom (1997:16) 99. ^ Blau (2010:111) 102. ^ Steiner (1997:147) 104. ^ LaSor (1978. 97. ^ a b c Waltke & O'Connor (1990:66–67) 120. §14. ^ Blau (2010:112) 97. 88. ^ Sperber (1959:77. 86. 90. ^ a b c Janssens (1982:173) 96. ^ a b Blau (2010:143–144) 118. ^ Janssens (1982:53) 119. ^ Blau (2010:266) 124. ^ a b Blau (2010:78–81) ^ Sáenz-Badillos (1993:137–138) ^ Janssens (1982:43) ^ Blau (2010:82–83) ^ a b Steinberg. ^ Blau (2010:105–106. ^ Janssens (1982:66) 110) 93.htm History of the Ancient and Modern Hebrew Language. ^ Ben-Ḥayyim (2000:81) 113.11) 105. 85. 115–119) 92. ^ Janssens (1982:56–57) 106.81) 94. ^ a b Sáenz-Badillos (1993:156) 107. ^ Blau (2010:133–136) 109. ^ a b Janssens (1982:52) 117. ^ Sáenz-Badillos (1993:88–89. 89. ^ Waltke & O'Connor (1990:84) 122. ^ Ben-Ḥayyim (2000:79) 111. ^ a b Ben-Ḥayyim (2000:49) 101. 84. Part 2.^ Dolsopolsky 1999. ^ a b c d e f Waltke & O'Connor (1990:90–92) 123. History of the Ancient and Modern Hebrew Language "History of the Ancient and Modern Hebrew Language". p. ^ a b Blau (2010:267–268) 83. ^ Janssens (1982:54) 91. 72. ^ a b c Waltke & O'Connor (1990:83) 121. ^ a b Waltke & O'Connor (1990:17) 125.

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Cambridge University. E. The Text of the Old Testament (trans. 145-173 Tov. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Erroll F. B. Palestinian Vocalised Piyyut Manuscripts in the Cambridge Genizah Collections. • • . Rendsburg. "Ancient Hebrew Phonology". The Book of Hebrew Script. Alan. Leiden: E. David Steinberg o Biblical Hebrew Poetry and Word Play . Grand Rapids: Wm. An Introduction to the Comparative Grammar of the Semitic Languages. Grand Rapids.rutgers. The Semitic Languages. Cambridge University Press. Richard C. Yahalom. Ben Zvi. [edit] External links • History of the Hebrew Language o History of the Ancient and Modern Hebrew Language. Winona Lake. Phonologies of Asia and Africa. Indiana: Eisenbrauns. Introduction to the Tiberian Masorah. 65-83. Phonology and Morphology. Eerdmans Publishing Co. ISBN 089130-373-1. M. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress. O'Connor. Rhodes). Matthew Anstey Grammar and Vocabulary o The Handy-Dandy Hebrew Grammar Chart.B. William Sanford (1978). Eisenbrauns. Scholars Press. Moscati et al. Sperber.Eardmans Publishing. pp. A Grammar of Masoretic Hebrew. J. Alexander (1959). ISBN 0521583993. in Hetzron. pp. Gary A.. Ernst (1995). (1997). (1990). Brill. Angel (1993). Robert. University of Alberta o Biblical Hebrew bibliography and transliteration. A History of the Hebrew Language. Prof. Prof. (1997). MI: Wm.. Copenhagen: Ejnar Munksgaard. Würthwein. ISBN 0-8006-2687-7. Alexander (1966). ISBN 0-8028-0788-7. Routledge. Yeivin. Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible. Israel (1980).edu/component/docman/doc_view/93-ancient-hebrewphonology Sáenz-Badillos. ISBN 9780802804440. http://jewishstudies. (1964). Yardeni. Jerusalem: Carta. Sperber. Aural and Visual Experience o Short History of the Hebrew Language. Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. ISBN 965-220-3696. in Kaye. S. Shawn Madden. Bruce K.Reconstructing the Original Oral. ISBN 0-931464-31-5. Joseph (1997). Handbook of Biblical Hebrew. Steiner. An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax.• • • • • • • • • • • • • LaSor. Waltke. Emanuel (1992). "Ancient Hebrew". Ada (1997). Chaim Rabin o The Alphabet of Biblical Hebrew Biblical Hebrew Resources o Resources for the Study of Biblical Hebrew. A Historical Grammar of Biblical Hebrew.

o o Basic Biblical Hebrew Grammar (introductory) Learn to write the Hebrew characters .

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