Plowing through History from the Aleph to the Tav

Topics Ancient Hebrew Alphabet


The Ancient Hebrew Alphabet

By Jeff A. Benner


Early
Hebrew
Middle
Hebrew
Late
Hebrew
Modern
Hebrew


Ancient Name: Shin
Pictograph: Two front teeth
Meanings: Sharp, Press, Eat, Two
Sound: Sh


History & Reconstruction

The Ancient picture for this letter is , a picture of the two front teeth. This letter has the meanings of "teeth," "sharp" and "press" (from the function of the teeth when chewing). It also has the meaning of "two," "again" and "both."

The Modern Hebrew name for this letter is shin, a Hebrew word meaning tooth. Hebrew and Arabic agree that the sound for this letter is "sh."

The early pictograph evolved into in the Middle Semitic script and continued to evolve into in the Late Semitic Script. From the middle Semitic script is derived the Modern Hebrew ש. The Middle Semitic script is also the origin of the Greek letter Σ and the Latin S.


Semitic Script Charts




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