Learn Ancient Hebrew ~ Introduction

By Jeff A. Benner

The original twenty two Hebrew letters were pictures of animals, tools or parts of the body. The ancient Hebrew alephbet has very little resemblence to the modern Hebrew alephbet, though the modern did evolve out of the ancient.

The objective of this section is to teach the name and sound of each letter by associating a common English word and sound related to the original Hebrew. This will allow for an easier method of learning the ancient Hebrew Alephbet.

The learning of the ancient Hebrew alephbet will be done in three steps. Many English words have been derived from Hebrew, therefore, the Hebrew can be learned much easier by first learning them in English. Once this is accomplished, the second step is to learn the original name and sound of the letter. The third step will make the meanings of the letters clear.

Let us take the Hebrew letter " as an example. The picture of this letter is a man laying on his "side". We will first learn the name of this letter as "side" with an "s" sound. The next step is to transfer the name and sound to the actual Hebrew name which is "tsad" with a "ts" sound. In the third step we will learn that the "tsad" has the meaning of "lay down".

Once the letters are understood in their original Hebrew context, we will look at a few Hebrew words which are formed by combining letters together. The meaning of these letters will then supply the definition to the Hebrew word.

Hebrew Name Sound
Al a
Bet b, bh
Gam g
Dal d
Hey h, e
Waw w, o, u
Zan z
Hhets hh
Thet th
Yad y, i
Kaph k, kh
Lam l
Mah m
Nun n
Sin s
Ghan gh
Pey p
Tsad ts
Quph q
Rosh r
Shin sh
Taw t