Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of His Servant?



A New Website for My Beloved Hebrew Students

Due to my boundless love (chesed) for my Hebrew students I decided to start another website.  It is called One Proverb a Day and it is found here.

The intention is to provide 366 proverbs in Hebrew for students to read and memorize [YES – memorize!].  Also – I will provide notes on grammar and pronunciation, and some basic comments on the content (mostly based on Waltke and Bridges).

Because I do not know how to deal with the Hebrew well (help anyone?) in wordpress, all the files will be available for download in PDF form.  Those versions should be much better than what appears in the wordpress website!

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments, and if you would like to contribute to this project!


Hebrew Flashcards – For Your VOCAB Review

Thanks to Garry Simmons , I found a website where you can improve/review your Hebrew vocabulary.

You can find it here. The site is also useful for Greek and it has some links to other resources. Enjoy!


Many students of Hebrew have a hard time distinguishing between a daggesh forte (which doubles a consonant) and a daggesh lene (which is there to help with pronunciation).

This explanation should help those interested.  It is not the best, but it should help.


Donald J. Wiseman – In Memoriam

The great British Orientalist Donald Wiseman was called home.  He played a very important role in the early development of the Tyndale House and had great contributions to biblical scholarship and the study of the ancient Near East. [This information was obtained from Tyndale House]

Here is a photo of Professor Wiseman from ancient Nimrud:

Wiseman next to Agatha Christie at ancient Nimrud

Left to right: Donald Wiseman stands next to his good friend
Agatha Christie, her husband Max Mallowan, and Neville Chittick,
while carrying out archaeological excavation at Nimrud.

There are many things I did not know about Professor Wiseman.  Thus, I had no idea that he was a recipient of the USA Bronze Star Medal for his valor in World War II… Read the tribute below and become wiser/better! (more…)

Fall 2009 and Hebrew Poetry

The fall semester is drawing to a close here at Torch Trinity. Given the situation, I do have a bit of time to return to blogging.

Many good posts have been posted out there. As usually when I try to catch up with the good stuff in the field of Old Testament and Hebrew, I went to John Hobbins’ website.

It is well worth taking a look at his post dealing with key definitions in ancient Hebrew poetry.

I am also looking forward to read and comment on his post on diachrony in ancient Hebrew.


Jerusalem, Hebrew, etc

I offer the following (from our friends at HebrewOnline) as a tribute to Jerusalem and as a small Hebrew lesson.

On May 12, 1968, the government of Israel proclaimed a new holiday – Jerusalem Day – to be celebrated on the 28th of Iyar, the Hebrew date on which the divided city of Jerusalem became united. This year Yom Yerushalayim falls on May 22nd 2009.

!יוֹם יְרוּשָׁלַיִם שָׂמֵחַ
Yom Yerushalayim Same’ax!
Happy Jerusalem Day!

As a background, during the 6-day war, Jordan joined Egypt and Syria and attacked Israel from the East. On the second day of the war, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) captured Mount Scopus (הַר הַצּוֹפִים, har hatsofim) and besieged the Old City. On the third day of the war, on June 7th 1967, the Paratroopers Brigade (חֲטִיבַת הַצַּנְחָנִים, xativat hatsanxanim), under the command of Colonel Motta Gur entered the Old City through the Lions’ Gate (שַׁעַר הָאֲרָיוֹת, sha’ar ha’arayot). At 10:00AM Motta Gur announced: “The Temple Mount is in our hands, Over!… All forces Cease Fire. Over!” (“!הַר הַבַּיִת בְּיָדֵינוּ, עֲבֹר!… כָּל הַכּוֹחוֹת חָדַל אֵשׁ. עֲבֹר”).

You can watch the entrance into the Old City and listen to the words of Motta Gur and Moshed Dayan here.


Watch Out for BARBARIANS!

These days I am reading a nice little book by John Currid: Calvin and the Biblical Languages. Reading this my respect for Calvin and the Genevan reformation is growing. I found out that the Geneva Academy (started by Calvin) had a great influence on the founding of University of Leiden, University of Edinburgh, and Emmanuel College at Cambridge. The influence was especially essential on the importance of Biblical languages.

After more that fifty years from the founding of University of Leiden, the great Hebrew scholar Sixtinus Amama wrote a book entitled Anti-Barbarus Biblicus (1628).  It his dedication to the founders of the university and he

“reminds them how fifty-seven years ago the States of Holland founded the University of Leiden in order to drive out barbarism, to protect the purified religion and to preserve the study of literature…In the foreward Amama explains the title Anti-Barbarus Biblicus.  The barbarism which he is attacking is the neglect of Greek and Hebrew.  The barbarians are those who can learn these languages but do not wish to do so. Amama wants to show how the neglect of Greek and Hebrew leads to a biblical barbarism and the decline of true religion…”

As far as I know, most liberal schools took Biblical languages out of their curriculum.  However, I doubt that they consider themselves as ‘barbarians.’  According to Amama, they are.  And so are the rest “who can learn these languages but do not wish to do so…”

Well said AMAMA.

I better get back to my language study.  You should too.  After all, Bitzer Was a Banker and he still studied Greek and Hebrew.  How much more should Christian ministers, missionaries, etc.

[The quotation is from pp. 75-76 from P. T. Van Rooden, Theology, Biblical Scholarship and Rabbinical Studies in the Seventeenth Century (Leiden: Brill, 1989), p. 68].

Some Useful New Sites and Resources

Thanks to John Hobbins (see Hebrew Poetry under Blogroll) I discovered some really good new blogs. His complete list is here.

I will mention one that I especially like. It is called BALSHANUT , and John calls it “a top-notch Biblical Hebrew blog by Pete Bekins.” I agree with him. You will find there some useful summaries of articles relevant for Biblical Hebrew and Linguistics.

I also found this surprising website which gives access to an Akkadian dictionary. It is maintained by Association Assyrophile de France. The website is found here .

I think this website will prove useful to anybody who needs a quick look for cognates of various Hebrew words. Many times it lists the Proto-Semitic word and also other Semitic cognates. Note for example the definition for ṣalmu:

black, dark

Cf. ṣalāmu

See also : adru, daʾmu

Comparison with other Semitic languages :

* Proto-Semitic : *ẓalm
* Arabic : ẓalām ظَلاَم «blackness»
* Ugaritic : ẓlmt «blackness»
* Ge’ez : ṣalma

What is even more amazing is the fact that the Oriental Institute (from University of Chicago) has started to digitize all of its publications and make them available for free online. Chris Brady has a list of all their publications already available.  The list is very impressive.  The CAD (Chicago Assyrian Dictionary) can be downloaded here.

Some New Websites for Learning Hebrew

Today I found a new site that I believe is very helpful for people who would like to learn Biblical Hebrew. The whole course is online and is in video format. It is very visual, and it seems to me that it is a fine site for anyone who does not have the time, money, or other resources to learn Hebrew.


The course is taught by Dr. David P. Muray (Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology) and is based on “Biblical Hebrew” by Kittel, Hoffer and Wright.

They have additional courses online (all are free). Personally – I am planning to take a look at Preaching Christ from the Old Testament – a subject that is very dear to my heart.

P.S. I was also informed by Boaz Binnun that the following website offers Hebrew lessons, but I am not sure yet if it is for free (?):  http://www.classicalhebrew.com