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A Hebrew Verse-Based Vocabulary Reader

Table of Contents

Introduction and Instructions

i

Pronunciation

v

1. Exodus 33:12-23; 34:1-9

1

2. Genesis 1:1-31; 2:1-3

7

3. Genesis 24:1-27

13

4. Genesis 31:55; 32:1-32

19

5. Numbers 14:1-35

25

6. Deuteronomy 5:1-6:9

31

7. Joshua 2:1-24

39

8. Judges 8:33-35

45

9. Ruth 1

47

10. Ruth 2

51

11. Ruth 3

55

12. Ruth 4

58

13. 2 Samuel 1:27; 2:1-7

61

14. Psalm 103:1-20

65

15. Psalm 100:1-5; Psalm 117:1-2

69

16. 2 Chronicles 7:1-10

71

17. Proverbs 3:1-20

75

18. Joel 2:13-27; 28-32

79

19. Jonah 1-2

85

20. Jonah 3-4

91

21. Micah 7:1-20

95

22. 2 Chronicles 30:1-13

99

23. Nahum 1:1-8

100

24. Review

107

25. Lamentations 3:19-33

109

26. Daniel 9:1-27

111

27. Zechariah 7:1-14

117

28. Nehemiah 9:1-21

121

29. Nehemiah 9:22-38 Appendix A: Consonant Pairings Appendix B: Verse Prompts

127

A Draft by Daniel J. Pfeifer, ©2014

Hebrew Verse-Based Vocabulary Reader

i

Introduction

Welcome to the Hebrew Verse-Based Vocabulary Reader experiment. You might have picked up this book because you are starting your Hebrew learning experience and want all the help you can get! Or you may be reading Hebrew at this point and are looking for a vocabulary refresher. You may also be wondering why someone would pick these seemingly random texts and go to all this work. Regardless, you are here, reading. Through this reader, I invite you to join the story, relate to the characters, and hear the Hebrew words as they are not only spoken, but as they are lived. Further, I propose through the following passages that from the beginning to the end of Hebrew Scripture, the goodness of God's character is a major theme revealed through God's interaction generation after generation. As the story unfolds over almost two millennia, we observe God's role in a search for a wife, a brother's anxious return, faithfulness to an enemy and her family, the burial of a king, undeserved compassion, revival, songs of remembrance, prophecies of restoration through judgment, painful defeat, prayers, and a final crowd event of covenant renewal. The goal of this book is to contribute to, not replace, your classroom experience. The purpose of this book is to give context to the Hebrew words you are memorizing and thereby create an associative meaning to anchor the vocabulary in memory. For example, when I think of the Hebrew words, "morning" and "evening," I hear them in the repetitious phrase from Genesis 1, "There was evening, and there was morning." The phrase and the words are linked, their meanings associated. In addition, I wanted to create a vocabulary tool that allows you to sample the reality of the ancient Hebrew experience. This reader gives a context for these words in the experiences of individuals, families,

ii

Introduction

foreigners, and nations and a sampling of literary forms such as narrative, poetry, prayers, and songs. You may not know enough Hebrew yet to read and understand the inflected text, so we offer an intermediate solution, an English-Hebrew mix that includes the lexical forms of the Hebrew words from your vocabulary cards. A major theme of Hebrew Scripture is the compelling story of the experience of God with humanity. Much of the content focuses on the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. There are, however, several noteworthy exceptions where God expands the influence of His character. The overall narrative of Hebrew Scripture can be pictured in six cycles of three words (6x3).

God, community, creation,

fall, failure, flood,

family, famine, forced-labor,

exodus, wilderness, conquest,

judges, kings, injustice,

exile, sojourn, return

The following passages provide a cross-section of the ancient Hebrew experience. They follow a thematic line the revelation of God's character flowing through the six cycles. Each passage includes an English introduction, a vocabulary list from the passage of lexical terms used 50 times or more in the whole Hebrew Scripture, and the English- Hebrew mix. Each text contains a mix of English sentences and Hebrew words in their lexical form. The mix places focus on the meaning of the Hebrew words apart from their inflected forms and differing order in a Hebrew phrase. When memorizing vocabulary, learners often associate a word with a phrase as an aid to long-term memory (called mnemonic devices).

Hebrew Verse-Based Vocabulary Reader

iii

The goal, then, is to create associations with the Biblical text itself to aid recall. While these associations begin as an English-Hebrew mix, our ultimate goal is to read the words in their native structure in the Hebrew text. In the meantime, I hope that learning the words by the repeated reading of these Bible passages will serve you devotionally as well as academically.

Instructions

1. Read through the passage in English. We chose the passages for their thematic significance as explained above and also for their repetition of vocabulary terms. The original Young's Literal Translation (YLT) provides a basis for the English passages in this reader, because word order from the YLT generally represents the Hebrew word order. Glosses from the Hebrew-Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (HALOT) informed updates to antiquated English words.

2. As you reacquaint yourself with the English passage, picture in your mind or draw a quick sketch of the actions, places, and objects the words represent.

3. Review the Hebrew vocabulary list. The parenthetical numbers after each definition represent the number of times the word appears in the BHS Hebrew text and the references in brackets list the occurrences in the passage.

4. Read the English-Hebrew passage out loud, so that you can hear the words in context. And remember, you are reading the lexical form of the word, not the inflected form.

5. Picture the action or thing represented by each Hebrew word as you recall the English meaning.

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Introduction

6. In most cases, we have avoided putting two Hebrew words side- by-side. If two Hebrew words do appear together, read them in English word order from left to right.

7. In some cases, a Hebrew word represents multiple concepts in English, and we have provided an appropriate translation in parentheses.

8. If you typically read the Bible daily, consider using this Hebrew Verse-Based Vocabulary Reader as your daily reading.

9. Read a passage or memorable excerpt multiple times throughout the day to refresh the words and context.

10. Note the list of seven common verbs and nouns below. The words appear often. In addition, you will read nouns like field and land frequently and verbs like sit and return. "But of course," you say, "These words represent experience." Exactly!

Seven Common Verbs and Nouns

The following common verbs and nouns appear frequently in all of the passages. Know these relational words.

רמַ אָ

אוֹבּ

רבַדָ

ה ָיהָ

ךְלַהָ

ןתַ נָ

השָ עָ

say (5,316)

go in, enter (1,210)

Pi-speak to, with or about (1,136)

be, become (3,576)

go, walk (1,554)

give, put (2,014)

do, make (2,632)

באָ

תמֶאֱ

ןבֵּּ

הוהי

דסֶחֶ

בוֹט

םעַ

father, ancestor (1,210)

faithfulness, truth (127)

son (4,941) [34:7]

Yahweh, LORD (5,766)

loyalty, steadfast love (249)

good, pleasant (530)

people (1,869)

Hebrew Verse-Based Vocabulary Reader

v

Pronunciation

In order to read the English-Hebrew mix, we need to begin with a basic pronunciation scheme. So we start with the pronunciation clues left by ancient writers and used by translators for centuriesproper names. Our pronunciation is greatly aided by the use of transliterated names. The names are very helpful prompts as we develop a basic pronunciation as a basis for reading. In this introductory exercise we review the consonants of the Hebrew alphabet and the major vowel pointings as

well as an excerpt of names from 1 Chronicles 12. The Hebrew alphabet contains 22 consonants and 8 major vowel pointings. (Please be aware that there are more pointings, mostly combinations of the 8 listed.) The table below contains the consonant and vowels and the English letter typically used to represent the Hebrew letter. In addition, there are notes on the dot that changes pronunciation. The narrative of Hebrew Scripture contains the compelling story of the experience of God with humanity. So we begin our vocabulary survey with some important words, proper names that tell the history of humanity starting at the beginning. The genealogies of 1 Chronicles 19 provide a human chronology from Adam to David. The names in chapter 1 summarize the book of Genesis. In fact, the author of Chronicles is very conscientious in copying the information found in Genesis family trees. In addition, the names in 1 Chronicles 19 offer a broader and deeper view of history than the Old Testament focus. While other gods and national stories were known, the primary focus of the Old Testament is

the story of the LORD (הוהי) God (םיהלִֹ

Beyond their value to the historian, the first chapters of Chronicles are a treasure trove for the linguist-translator. The names themselves provide language data including pronunciation helps. For more on the alphabet, see the 15-minute lecture, Chapter 1, at “Animated Hebrew.”

<http://www.animatedhebrew.com/lectures/chapter_1/chapter_1.html>

אֱ) and Israel (לאֵ רָשִיְׂ ).

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Introduction: Pronunciation

Biblical Hebrew is written with 22 consonants and a variety of vowel pointings. Note the dot (dagash lene) in 6 letters; in 3, it signals pronunciation changes. For example, Bet with a dot sounds like the English “b” and without the dot like a “v.” Otherwise, the dot signals a doubled letter, such as “tt.The dot never appears in guttural letters. If you can imagine clay tablets and stone, then you can see the efficiency of a dot to carry language information!

Letter

Name

Transliterated

א

Aleph

stop

guttural

בּ

Bet

b (dot) and v

גּ

Gimmel

g

דּ

Dalet

d

ה

Hey

h

guttural

ו

Vav

v

ז

Zayin

z

ח

Chet

ch ()

guttural

ט

Tet

t ()

י

Yod

y

ך כּ

Khaf

k

ל

Lamed

l

ם מ

Mem

m

ן נ

Nun

n

ס

Samekh

s

ע

Ayin

stop

guttural

ף פּ

Pey

p (dot) and ph

ץ צ

Tsade

ts ()

ק

Qof

q

ר

Resh

r

guttural

שׁ

Shin + ש Sin

sh (š) + s (ś)

תּ

Tav

th (dot) and t

Vowel

Name

Transliterate

ָָ

Qamets

a = ah

ָ

Patach

a = ah

ָ

Seghol

e = eh

ֵי + ֵָ

Tsere + T

-Yod

e = eh + ei

ִי + ִָ

Hireq + H

-Yod

i = ee

וֹ + ָ

Holem + H

-Vav

o = oh

וּ + ָ

Qibbuts + Shureq

u = oo

ְָׂ

Sheva

e (short)

Hebrew Verse-Based Vocabulary Reader

vii

Text-Mix: 1 Chronicles 1:1-5, 8, 17, 24-27; 2:1-2

← read Hebrew right-to-left ← 1 ׃שׁוֹנאֱ תשֵׁ םדָאָ Enosh Shet, Adam, 2 ׃דרָי
← read Hebrew right-to-left ←
1
׃שׁוֹנאֱ
תשֵׁ
םדָאָ
Enosh
Shet,
Adam,
2
׃דרָי
לאֵלְׂלהֲמ
ןניָ קֵ
Yared,
Mahalalel,
Kenan,
3
׃ךְמלָ
חלשׁוּתמְׂ
ךְוֹנחֲ
Lamech,
Metushelach,
Chenoch,
4
׃תפָי
םחָ
םשֵׁ
חֹנ
and Yapet.
Ham
Shem,
Noach,
5
ןוָיָ
ידמָ
גוֹגמָ
רמֹגּ
תפי
and
and
and
Gomer,
Yephet
The
Yavan,
Madai,
Magog,
sons.of
׃סריָ תִ
ךְשׁמ
לבָת
and Tiras.
and Meshech
and Tuval
8
׃ןעָנכְׂ
טוּפּ
םִירצְׂ מִ
שׁוּכּ
םחָ
and
Put,
Mizraim
Cush,
Ham
The
Cenaan.
(Egypt),
sons of
17
דשׁכְׂ פּרְׂא
רוּשּׁא
םליָ עֵ
םשֵׁ
and
and
Elam,
Shem
The
Arpachshad,
Ashshur,
sons of

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Introduction: Pronunciation

 

read Hebrew right-to-left

׃ךְשׁמ

רתג

לוּח

ץוּע

םרָאֲ

דוּל

and

and

and

and

and

and

Meshech.

Geter

Chul,

Uts,

Aram,

Lud,

24 ׃חלשָׁ דשׁכְׂ פּרְׂא םשֵׁ Shalach, Arpachshad, Shem, 25 ׃וּערְׂ גלפּ
24
׃חלשָׁ
דשׁכְׂ פּרְׂא
םשֵׁ
Shalach,
Arpachshad,
Shem,
25
׃וּערְׂ
גלפּ
רבעֵ
Reu,
Peleg,
Ever,
26
׃חרתָּ
רוֹחנָ
גוּרשְׂ
Therach,
Nachor,
Serug,
27
׃םהָרָבְׂ א
אוּה
םרָבְׂ א
Avraham.
that is
Avram,
1 Chronicles 2:1-2
1
ןוֹעמְׂ שִׁ
ןבוּאֵ
רְׂ
לאֵרָשִיְׂ
הלאֵ
Shimeon
Reuven
Yisrael
sons
These
of
[are]
׃ןוּלֽ בְׂז
רָ֖כָשִיָ
הדוּהיָָ֔
יוִלֵ
and Zebulun
Yisachar
and Yhudah
Levi
2
׃רשֵׁ אָ
דגָּ
ילִתָּפְׂ נ
ןמָיְִׂ נבִ
ףסוֹיֵ
ןדָּ
and Asher
Gad
Naphthali
and
Joseph
Dan
Vinyamin