Biblical Hebrew – First Steps

This article provides a commented list of some of the resources that have helped me the most in learning biblical Hebrew from scratch and without the benefit of a live teacher. It also displays quotes that I found particularly helpful from whatever material I used.

The French version of this article, Hébreux biblique — premiers pas, describes how I proceeded to learn biblical Hebrew, starting with no basis whatsoever. It also provides links towards the resources I was able to find on line, most of which are in English.

Resources I Found Most Helpful in Learning Biblical Hebrew

Perusing by yourself the French version of this article Hébreux biblique — premiers pas, you should be able to identify more resources, since links are often labelled in English,
as in this example from the Reference section toward the end of the French article :

The resources that follow are not necessarily available in the French version of this article, or may have been reorganized for a number of reasons.

Hebrew Songs and Lyrics that Moved my Heart

From Yuval – Worship Center of Music and the Arts

From The Messianic Jewish Alliance of Israel

  • Hu Asher (He Who Did Not Spare) Lyrics: Romans 8:31-32,35,38-39 Music: Hanna Spaander. Video: Leave your MARK. Album: Praises of Israel.
  • Merim Oti (You Lift Me).  Lyrics & Music: Hellen Yilma.
    Video: Leave your MARK. Album: Praises of Israel.
  • Praise to Our God 5 Concert – Oseh Shalom (He Who Makes Peace).
  • Atah Gibor (You Are Mighty) Lyrics – Album : Praises Of Israel.

Quotations I Found Most Helpful in Learning Biblical Hebrew

From Gary D. Pratico et Miles V. Van Pelt, dans, Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar, deuxième édition, Zondervan, 2001, 2007:

… any level of competence with the language can provide a better understanding of the Old Testament and enhance one’s effectiveness in the communication of biblical truth (Preface, point 4).

When dealing with the Shewa in Hebrew, remember to keep it simple. A Shewa is silent if the previous vowel is short. In most other circumstances, it is vocal (Section 3.6).

From William L. Holladay, A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (English, Hebrew and Aramaic Edition), William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand-Rapids, Michigan, 1971, , E. J. Brill Leiden, 1988 — p. ix-x:

At least one, but usually only one, citation is given for every distinction of definition. When possible, these have been chosen from Genesis, Kings, or Samuel (in this order of preference), since it is recognized that the student often begins the reading of Hebrew prose from these books (highlighted by Savoir et croire .ca).

From Dr Ted Hildebrandt,  Hebrew I and II, eLearning, Textbook chapter 8:

A Logos search reveals that there are about 50,000 qal verbs out of a total 74,017 verbs total in the Tanak (21,000 being Qal Perfect; 23,440 being Qal Imperfect). So the Qal is the major stem over all others and splits almost evenly between the perfect and imperfect forms.

Additional quotes will be added as I stumble upon them in the regular course of my study.

Daniel Garneau
May 18, 2020