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How to use a Biblical Hebrew Lexicon?

Guide to using any biblical Hebrew Lexicon - in-depth explanations, examples, exercises. Includes 5 Hebrew Lexicons.
4.8 (7 ratings)
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106 students enrolled
Created by Michal Shmuel
Last updated 9/2014
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  • 32 mins on-demand video
  • 4 Articles
  • 7 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What Will I Learn?
By the end of the course, you will be in possession of 5 biblical Hebrew Lexicons
You will know how to use any biblical Hebrew Lexicon
You will know how Hebrew word formation works
You will meet two important web services
You will become connected to a vibrant community of biblical Hebrew students and instructors who will answer your future questions
View Curriculum
  • You should know the basics of biblical Hebrew that are taught in a first year biblical Hebrew course
  • There is no need to purchase a Hebrew lexicon before taking this course.
  • 5 Lexicons will be provided for download during the course
  • Students who are interested to purchase a biblical Hebrew lexicon can find recommendations at the end of the course

This course teaches how to successfully use any biblical Hebrew lexicon. You don't need to be in possession of a Hebrew lexicon, because included in the course price are 5 digital copies of Hebrew lexicons. Before we actually start using them, I will give you an introduction to the principles of Hebrew word formation. I will explain what roots and patterns are, how to identify prefixes and suffixes on Hebrew words and how to parse. You will receive colorful charts and many examples to illustrate how Hebrew word formation works. This section of the course serves as introduction/ review to the morphological (form of words) analysis of Hebrew words which is essential for successfully using a biblical Hebrew lexicon.

The next section of the course focuses on the practical use of the lexicons. Each lexicon will be introduced briefly. After that I will provide a lot of clear examples and exercises that help you to get familiar and comfortable with using any biblical Hebrew lexicon.

The individual lessons of this section are packed with background information, reference tools, easy-to-understand exercises, and examples from the Hebrew bible that will help you to approach any biblical Hebrew lexicon and make the best use of it.

You will receive tips and tricks at the end of the course, e.g.helpful web services. You will be invited to a vibrant online community of students and instructors that will help you with all your future questions on biblical Hebrew.

On completing this course:

    -you will be able to use any biblical Hebrew lexicon on your own

    -you will be in possession of 5 biblical Hebrew Lexicons

    -you will learn about free-of-charge web services

    -you will be connected to an online community that answers all your questions even after the end of the course

Who is the target audience?
  • You will benefit the most from this course if you have completed a first-year course in biblical Hebrew or if you are currently enrolled
  • You need to be familiar with the Hebrew consonants and vowels
  • You should be able to identify the definite article, the conjunction ו, the one-letter prepositions ב, ל, כ
  • Knowledge of Hebrew word formation and the Hebrew verbal system are a plus
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 23 Lectures Collapse All 23 Lectures 43:00
Welcome to the Course!
2 Lectures 03:22

Shalom and Welcome to this course on how to use a biblical Hebrew Lexicon!

Preview 00:40

Background Information
4 Lectures 07:04

In this lesson we answer the question how words are formed in Hebrew, what roots and patterns are, and how we can distinguish between them.

Preview 07:04

1.Download the "Lesson04-Exercise-Roots-and-Patterns.pdf" and print it out.

2.Follow the instructions.

3.Download "Lesson04-Answer-Key.pdf" and compare.

Exercise - Roots and Patterns
1 page

You will learn the strong consonants in Hebrew and what the characteristics of strong roots are.

Strong Roots
1 page

You will earn the weak consonants in Hebrew and what the characteristics of weak roots are.

Weak Roots
1 page
Biblical Hebrew Lexicons and their Use
15 Lectures 23:26

Some of the books we are using in the course are called "Lexicon"; some are called "Dictionary"; others are called "Concordance". In this unit, we will briefly introduce and explain the terminology and what the difference is.

1 page

I will give you now a brief description of four of the 5 lexicons we will be using in this course:



    ·Strong's Concordance:


Introduction to the 5 Lexicons

Learn how to obtain a digital copy of the 5 biblical Hebrew Lexicons.

Download of Digital Copies of Biblical Hebrew Lexicons and Dictionaries

You will learn how the different biblical Hebrew lexicons are arranged.

Arrangement of biblical Hebrew Lexicons

Quick lesson that summarizes what has been said in Section 2 on word formation and how to parse nouns and verbs.


You learn how the BDB is arranged, what some of the abbreviations mean (the complete list of abbreviations appears at the beginning of the BDB), and how a complete root entry looks like. Use your copy that you downloaded earlier on or use the screenshots provided in the download section.

How to use the BDB?

True or False?

How to use the BDB?
3 questions

    1.Download the "Lesson13-Exercise.pdf" and print it out.

    2.Follow the instructions.

    3.Download "Lesson13-Answer-Key.pdf" and compare

Exercise - Use the BDB
1 page

How to use Gesenius' Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon?

True or False?

How to use Gesenius' Lexicon?
3 questions

How to use Langenscheidt?

True or False?

How to use Langenscheidt?
3 questions

Practice with the lexicons that arrange verbs according to roots and nouns alphabetically.

    1.Download "Lesson16-Exercise-Gesenius-Langenscheidt.pdf" and print it out.

    2.Follow the instructions.

    3.Download "Lesson16-Answers-to-Exercise.pdf" and compare

Exercise - Use Gesenius and Langenscheidt
1 page

How to use Strong's Concordance?

Same Root Letters - Different Etymology

Roots of Unclear Origin

In case you cannot find a noun or verb in one of the earlier mentioned lexicons, use Davidson's Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon. It is meant for emergencies only or if you are not yet familiar with Hebrew word formation.

Emergency Kit

True or False?

How to use Davidson's Lexicon?
3 questions

Online Services that include one or more lexicons in the public domain

Online Services
Summary and Follow-Up
2 Lectures 01:32


You have learned in this course how to use any biblical Hebrew lexicon.

I have guided you through Hebrew word formation,

provided 5 biblical Hebrew lexicons and gave detailed explanations on how to find what you are looking for.

Please feel free to get in touch with me if you have any further questions.

You are welcome to join my Facebook group, the “Biblical Hebrew Study Group”.

It is a vibrant group of people from all over the world who study biblical Hebrew, who like to share information and discuss study options and resources. Any question relating to the study of biblical Hebrew in general or on how to use a biblical Hebrew lexicon in particular, can be answered there.

For further study material, like resources and biblical Hebrew courses, etc.,

visit my website

I hope you have enjoyed this course and I am looking forward to meet you.

Shalom and Thank you for taking this course on how to use a biblical Hebrew lexicon

Any Questions?

Brown, Driver Briggs: A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament (BDB)

Davidson, Benjamin: The analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon

Feyerabend: Langenscheidt's Pocket Hebrew Dictionary to the Old Testament

Gesenius, Wilhelm: Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon

Gesenius, Wilhelm: Hebrew Grammar

Holladay: A concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament

Joüon, Muraoka: A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew, 2009.

Koehler/ Baumgartner: The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (HALOT)

Soanes, Stevenson: Concise Oxford English Dictionary, 11th revised edition.

Strong, James: Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible

About the Instructor
4.8 Average rating
7 Reviews
106 Students
1 Course
Biblical Hebrew Instructor

Michal has over 5 years experience in teaching biblical Hebrew for the world's leading online language academy, eTeacher. She has taught biblical Hebrew at all levels to academic students (through Hebrew University, Jerusalem) and non-academic students in private tutorials and online classrooms. She holds an MA in Semitic Languages and focused mostly on biblical Hebrew during her studies, exploring the different stages of the language, the genres found in the bible, and the correspondence of grammar, semantics, style, etc. As a Hebrew language instructor she combines the didactic methods of different renowned Hebrew teachers with modern designs and expectations.

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