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Biblical Hebrew A COMPACT GUIDE

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Biblical Hebrew A C o m pA C t G u i d e
Books by Miles V. Van Pelt with Gary D. Pratico
Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar
Basics of Biblical Hebrew Workbook
Charts of Biblical Hebrew
Old Testament Hebrew Vocabulary Cards
Biblical Hebrew Laminated Sheets (Zondervan Get an A! Study Guide)
Basics of Biblical Hebrew Vocabulary Audio
Other Books by Miles V. Van Pelt English Grammar to Ace Biblical Hebrew
Basics of Biblical Aramaic: Complete Grammar, Lexicon, and Annotated Text
Biblical Hebrew A C o m pA C t G u i d e
miles V. Van pelt
Biblical Hebrew: A Compact Guide Copyright © 2012 by Miles V. Van Pelt
Requests for information should be addressed to: Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Van Pelt, Miles V., 1969_ Biblical Hebrew : a compact guide / Miles V. Van Pelt. p. cm. ISBN 978 – 0 – 310 – 32607 – 6 (softcover) 1.  Hebrew language — Grammar.  I. Title. PJ4567.3.V348 2012 492.4'82421 — dc23 2012004858
Any Internet addresses (websites, blogs, etc.) and telephone numbers in this book are offered as a resource. They are not intended in any way to be or imply an endorsement by Zonder- van, nor does Zondervan vouch for the content of these sites and numbers for the life of this book.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be repro- duced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means — electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other — except for brief quotations in printed reviews, with- out the prior permission of the publisher.
Cover design: Tammy Johnson Typeset by Miles V. Van Pelt
Printed in China
12 13 14 15 16 17 /CTPS/ 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Direction 2 Begadkephat Letters 2 Gutturals 2 Modern Pronunciation 2
Vowels 3 Regular Vowels 3 Vowel Letters 4 Other Vowel Symbols 5
Syllabification 6 Two Rules of Syllabification 6 Syllable Classification 6 The Daghesh and Syllabification 7 The Shewa and Syllabification 8 Rules of Shewa 9 Qamets and Qamets Hatuf 11 Furtive Pathach 11 Quiescent 11 Hebrew Diphthongs 12 Hebrew Vowel Rules 12 Additional Vowel Characteristics 13 Sqnmlwy 13
Definite Article 18 Morphology 18 Syntax 20
Conjunction Waw 22 Morphology 22 Syntax 24
Prepositions 26 Basic Grammar 26 Types of Hebrew Prepositions 27 Spelling of Inseparable Prepositions 29 The Preposition 30
Adjectives 33 Adjective Paradigm 33 Adjectival Inflection 34 Syntax 36
Independent Personal Pronouns 38 Morphology 38 Syntax 38
Demonstratives 40 Morphology 40 Syntax 41
Relative Pronoun 42 The Relative Pronoun 42 The Relative Pronoun 42
Interrogative Pronouns 44
The Interrogative 44 The Interrogative 44 The Interrogative / 44 The Interrogative / 45 The Interrogative / 45
Pronominal Suffixes 46 Morphology 46 With Masculine Nouns 48 With Feminine Nouns 49 With Monosyllabic Nouns 50 With Prepositions 51 With and 52 With / 53 As a Resumptive Pronoun 54 With Perfect Verbs 55 With Imperfect (Imperative) Verbs 56
Construct Chain 57 Basic Grammar 57 Vowel Reduction in Closed Syllables 59 Vowel Reduction in Open Syllables 60 Masculine Plural Nouns 60 Feminine Singular Nouns 60 Plural Segholate Nouns 60 Monosyllabic Nouns 61 Diphthongs 61 Nouns Ending with Seghol He 61 Tsere Changes to Pathach 62 First Rule of Shewa 62
Numbers 63 One through Ten 63 Eleven through Nineteen 65 Twenty through Ninety Nine 66 One Hundred and Up 67 Ordinal Numbers 68
Particles 70 Interrogative Particle 70 Directional Particle 71 Particle 71 Particle of Existence 73 Particle of Non-Existence 74
Verbal System Qal Perfect 75
Strong Verbs 75 Stative Verbs 76 Weak Verbs 77 Syntax of the Perfect 79
Qal Imperfect 83 Strong Verbs 83 Stative Verbs 85 Weak Verbs 86 Syntax of the Imperfect 91
Qal Imperative 94 Strong Verbs 94 Lengthened Imperative 95 The Particle 95 Weak Verbs 96
Qal Infinitive Construct 98
Strong Verbs 98 Weak Verbs 99 Syntax of the Infinitive Construct 102
Qal Infinitive Absolute 105 Strong Verbs 105 Weak Verbs 105 Syntax of the Infinitive Absolute 107
Qal Active Participle 109 Strong Verbs 109 Weak Verbs 110 Syntax of the Participle 112
Qal Passive Participle 114 Strong Verbs 114 Weak Verbs 115 Syntax of the Participle 116
Niphal Stem Verbs 118 Meaning of the Niphal Stem 118 Strong Verb Paradigms 119 Weak Verb Diagnostics 121
Piel Stem Verbs 124 Meaning of the Piel Stem 124 Strong Verb Paradigms 125 Weak Verb Diagnostics 127 Loss of Daghesh Forte (Sqnmlwy) 129
Pual Stem Verbs 130 Meaning of the Pual Stem 130 Strong Verb Paradigms 130 Weak Verb Diagnostics 132
Hiphil Stem Verbs 133 Meaning of the Hiphil Stem 133 Strong Verb Paradigms 134 Weak Verb Diagnostics 136
Hophal Stem Verbs 139 Meaning of the Hophal Stem 139 Strong Verb Paradigms 139 Weak Verb Diagnostics 141
Hithpael Stem Verbs 143 Meaning of the Hithpael Stem 143 Strong Verb Paradigms 144 Weak Verb Diagnostics 145 Metathesis in the Hithpael Stem 147 Assimilation of in the Hithpael Stem 147
Other Derived Stem Verbs 148 Polel Stem 148 Polal Stem 149 Hithpolel Stem 150 Hishtaphel Stem 152
Appendices Verb Paradigms and Charts 154 Hebrew-English Lexicon 169
This little book was written in order to provide stu- dents with a “compact guide” to biblical Hebrew. Be- ginning students will find the presentation of material convenient for review. Intermediate students can use this mini-grammar as a practical tool for translation. Even the veterans of this biblical language will find the compact guide helpful for blowing off the dust, filling in the cracks, and keeping fit in biblical Hebrew.
The utility of a compact guide is offset by limitations related to page length and size. The selection of con- tent will not satisfy everyone’s preferences, but we did take careful aim. The best way to access the book’s content is through the extended table of contents. The material presented in this book is derived primarily from Basics of Biblical Hebrew, 2nd edition, by Gary D. Pratico and Miles V. Van Pelt (Zondervan, 2007).
Thanks again to my friend and editor, Verlyn Ver- brugge, for all of his expert help with the production of this guide. My teaching assistants, Kelley Baldridge and Josh Drake, make it possible for me to write in the midst of a full schedule. Thanks to Paul Sumner for his careful proofreading. Finally, I am indebted to a spe- cial team of Hebrew language consultants who pro- vided expert proofreading and content checking: Jane E. Baynard, William Baynard, Chapel Baynard, Leigh Ann King, William King, May Hudson King, and Charlie King. You guys saved my bacon!
Letter Final Name Pronunciation Form
Alef (silent) Bet b as in boy Gimel g as in God Dalet d as in day He h as in hay Waw w as in way Zayin z as in Zion Het ch as in Bach Tet t as in toy Yod y as in yes Kaf k as in king Lamed l as in lion Mem m as in mother Nun n as in now Samek s as in sin Ayin (silent) Pe p as in pastor Tsade ts as in boots Qof k as in king Resh r as in run Sin s as in sin Shin sh as in ship Taw t as in toy
1. Direction. Hebrew is written from right to left, not left to right as in English.
2. Begadkephat Letters. Six Hebrew consonants
have two possible pronunciations. The presence or absence of the Daghesh Lene distinguishes be- tween the hard or soft pronunciations of the consonant.
b as in boy k as in king v as in vine ch as in Bach
g as in God p as in pastor gh as in aghast ph as in alphabet
d as in day t as in toy dh as in the th as in thin
3. Gutturals. The guttural consonants are , , , and (a semi-guttural). Gutturals (1) prefer a- class vowels, (2) reject Daghesh Forte, and (3) take Hateph vowels instead of Vocal Shewa. The semi-guttural may take Vocal Shewa.
4. Modern Pronunciation. Israeli Hebrew differs in a number of ways from what is considered to be the traditional or ancient pronunciation.
Traditional Modern Consonant Pronunciation Pronunciation
gh as in aghast g as in God dh as in the d as in day th as in thin t as in toy w as in way v as in vine
Hebrew Alphabet 2
Hebrew vowels can be divided into two groups: regu- lar vowels and vowel letters. In each group, there are as many as five vowel classes (a, e, i, o, u). The regular vowels are presented in three major categories: long, short, and reduced. The vowel letters are organized by the consonant with which they appear (He, Waw, and Yod).
Regular Vowels Long Vowels
o-class Holem o as in role Short Vowels
a-class Pathach a as in bat
e-class Seghol e as in better
i-class Hireq i as in bitter
o-class Qamets Hatuf o as in bottle
u-class Qibbuts u as in ruler Reduced (Hateph) Vowels
a-class Hateph Pathach a as in amuse
e-class Hateph Seghol e as in metallic
o-class Hateph Qamets o as in commit
Seghol He e as in better
o-class Holem He o as in role Vowel Letters Written with (Waw)
o-class Holem Waw o as in role
u-class Shureq u as in ruler Vowel Letters Written with (Yod)
e-class Tsere Yod e as in they
Seghol Yod e as in better
i-class Hireq Yod i as in machine
Notes on Hebrew Vowel Letters
1. Vowel letters written with (He) occur only at the end of a word, as in (law) and (he will build).
2. Vowel letters written with (Waw) and (Yod) are often referred to as unchangeable or histori- cally long vowels.
3. Defective writing is that phenomenon in which certain vowel letters are written without their consonant. There are three patterns of defective writing.
Hebrew Vowels 4
Shureq written as Qibbuts
Hireq Yod written as Hireq
Other Vowel Symbols
1. Daghesh Lene () appears as a small dot only in a begadkephat consonant in order to distinguish between the hard and soft pronunciations.
2. Daghesh Forte () doubles the consonant in which it appears. It can occur in any consonant except the gutturals and .
3. Silent Shewa () has a zero value and is never pronounced and never transliterated.
4. Vocal Shewa () maintains a hurried pronuncia- tion and sounds like the a in amuse.
Hebrew Vowels 5