Bible Review 10:1, February 1994

Hebrew for Bible Readers

A time to end

By Keith N. Schoville

Bible Review

µyIm;v;h' tj't' Åp,je-lk;l] t[;ew] ÷m=;zÒlkol'

lak-kohl zeman ve-eht le-kohl cheh-fets ta-chat ha-sha-ma-yim

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes [Koheleth] 3:1). This biblical expression provides a means for saying “Shalom!” (Goodbye!). For this will be the final lesson in this series. The preparation of these lessons has been challenging. I know from experience that even in a classroom a teacher cannot anticipate all the questions students may ask. Even more so, attempting to be concise and clear in these lessons has often left me wondering what I should have written that would have been more helpful and effective for you, the reader. I hope these lessons have encouraged you to start, or to continue, the study of Hebrew. But please do not stop now. The end of these lessons should be the beginning of your personal study, with the assistance of one or more of the excellent resources available to you. I will list some of these below.

What have we learned?

Hebrew Sounds

We began with Hebrew phonology, the basic building blocks of sound upon which verbal communication is built. Of course, to read the Hebrew Bible is to participate in written communication, but the sound is mother to the symbol. We do not know exactly how the Hebrew of the biblical prophets sounded, but the sounds you learned are a satisfactory approximation. You can easily review your Hebrew consonants, and vowels, now that you have had this initial contact with them.

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