Bookstore
Home    Topics    Contact    Support

Plowing through History from the Aleph to the Tav

Topics Ancient Hebrew Alphabet


Hey

By Jeff A. Benner


Early
Hebrew
Middle
Hebrew
Late
Hebrew
Modern
Hebrew


Pictograph: Man with arms raised
Meanings: Look, Reveal, Breath
Sound: H, eh


History & Reconstruction

The original pictograph for this letter is , a man standing with his arms raised up. The Modern Hebrew, and original name for this letter, is hey, a Hebrew word meaning "behold," as when looking at a great sight. This word can also mean "breath" or "sigh," as one does when looking at a great sight. The meaning of the letter is behold, look, breath, sigh, reveal and revelation from the idea of revealing a great sight by pointing it out.

This letter is a consonant, with an "h" sound, but also used as a vowel with the "eh" sound. When the Greeks adopted this letter it became the epsilon (E-psilon meaning "simple E") with an "eh" sound.

This letter is commonly used as a prefix to words to mean "the" as in ha'arets meaning "the land." The use of this prefix is to reveal something of importance within the sentence.

The Early Semitic evolved into the Middle Semitic by rotating the letter 90 degrees to the left. This letter then evolved into in the late Semitic script that developed into the Modern Hebrew ה. The Middle Semitic was adopted by the Greeks and the Romans to become the E (reversed from its Semitic origin due to the direction of writing). This Middle Semitic letter also became the number 5.


Semitic Script Charts




If you would like to be notified of new articles from this website...
Join the Mail List



Related Pages by Jeff A. Benner


TheThe Ancient Hebrew Language and Alphabet (Book)
Understanding the Ancient Hebrew language of the Bible, based on the Ancient Hebrew culture and thought.


TheThe Ancient Pictographic Alphabet (Article)
The original Hebrew alphabet was written with pictures that reveal insights into Hebrew words.


TheThe Paleo-Hebrew Alphabet (Article)
The relationship between the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet and the Samaritan alphabet.


SabbathSabbath in Ancient Hebrew (Video)
Each letter in the Hebrew alphabet was originally a picture with meaning. In this video we will examine the letters in the Hebrew word shabbat.


Search the AHRC Website

Google
 
Web Ancient-Hebrew.Org