Hebrew Vocabulary

Lesson Three:

The Third Set of Twenty Most Common
Words in the Hebrew Old Testament


Many of our readers are interested in learning to use Bible code software, but are intimidated by the difficulty of learning Hebrew. The purpose of this series of articles is to introduce our readers to a number of the most common Hebrew vocabulary words in the Old Testament (OT) [excluding proper nouns].1

We will be demonstrating the vocabulary using OT Scripture. We will not be making any effort to teach grammar, per se, but will give an introduction to the vocabulary words that are the most common. Some notes on grammar may appear as necessary, but grammar will not be our focus. Again, we will not be teaching conversational Hebrew, or the ability to write Hebrew. There are many other courses that are terrific at teaching those skills. We do hope that this series of articles will facilitate learning Hebrew in conjunction with other methods. For additional Hebrew language resources, visit our Hebrew Links and Resources page.

The Lesson Format

As we introduce the vocabulary words, we will do so in the following format. First, we will have a verse or verses of Scripture with arrows designating the new words. The words will also be noted in color to aid in seeing them in the text. This will be followed by the Scripture(s) in English and in Hebrew (written in English phonetically). Then, the words will be presented in a table to aid in practicing them. At the end of this article, there will be a table listing all 20 words for easy reference.

The Hebrew/English text for the Scriptures listed below is from Keys to the Bible.

2 Samuel 12:23 To Die, I, Return

In 2 Samuel 12:23, we introduce the words meaning to die, I, and return.

Note: The pronunciation for to die is a little different in the text. This is due to the tense of the verb.

Psalm 139:8 If, There, Behold

In Psalm 139:8, we introduce the words if, there, and behold.

Note: There is a different ending on the word for behold in the text. The endings indicate gender and number. We will not attempt to go into the details of this grammatical principal in this article.

Genesis 43:18b Take Us, Slave, With

In Genesis 43:18b, we introduce the words take us, slave, and with.

Genesis 29:6 With

In Genesis 29:6, we introduce another word translated as with. Note this word "with" (together with) is spelled as opposed to the preposition "with" spelled (see above).

Genesis 3:22 One, Put Forth, Eat

In Genesis 3:22, we introduce the words one, put forth, and eat. Note the word take is repeated here.

Genesis 24:13 Spring (well)

In Genesis 24:13, we introduce the word spring (well), and note that our new vocabulary word behold is repeated in this text.

Genesis 15:13 Know, Year

In Genesis 15:13, we introduce the words know and year.

Isaiah 14:13 Heart, Ascend

In Isaiah 14:13, we introduce the words heart and ascend.

Exodus 12:30 Was Not

In Exodus 12:30, we introduce the word meaning was not. Note there and a version of to die are repeated in this text.

Zephaniah 3:9 Name

In Zephaniah 3:9, we introduce the word name. Note the word one is repeated in this text.

Lessons One through Three Tables

Lesson One: The Twenty Most Common Words

Lesson Two: The Second Set of Twenty Most Common Words

Lesson Three: The Third Set of Twenty Most Common Words

Note: Number 30 notes the word dah-vahr as a noun meaning word, matter, or thing. Number 37 notes the word dah-vahr as a verb meaning to speak.

Congratulations! You have now learned the sixty most common words in the Hebrew Old Testament.

1 Van Pelt and Pratico. 2003. The Vocabulary Guide to Biblical Hebrew Grand Rapids, Mi.: Zondervan.

2 Van Pelt and Pratico. 2003. The Vocabulary Guide to Biblical Hebrew Grand Rapids, Mi.: Zondervan.

Ben-Yehuda and Ben-Yehuda. 1964. Ben-Yehuda's Pocket English-Hebrew/Hebrew-English Dictionary New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Additional references:

Mechon-Mamre.org The Mechon-Mamre.org site has a Hebrew-English Bible (Tanakh only) according to the Masoretic text and the JPS 1917 Edition. This site has MP3 recordings of the text.

Green, 1986. The Interlinear Bible: One Volume Edition London: Trinitarian Bible Society.

[The Interlinear Bible is available through our society in limited quantities and is an excellent resource. For more information, see the bottom of the Hebrew Links and Resources page.]

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