[b-hebrew] Recommend Dictionary and a Question

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Dec 9 10:31:54 EST 2008

Are you studying on your own, or are you taking a class?

If you are taking a class, probably the best advice I can give you is to ask
your teacher so that you are on the same page as the other students in the

If you are studying on your own, I would now highly recommend getting a
computer version of the Tanakh. A good, free version which can run on
multiple platforms is found at http://www.crosswire.org which includes
dictionaries. Looking up words on a computer dictionary is a lot faster than
turning physical pages. Even though I wrote a dictionary, I find that I
forget words, or I want to remind myself more exactly of the meaning, so I
still use the dictionary regularly.

If you want to remain with paper, one thing that I used heavily until it
fell apart was an analytic lexicon (professors cringe when they hear that)
but that gives also the Hebrew form.

As far as what you call a "dash", I almost always ignore it. It does not
connect a prefix. Rather it connects words together to indicate that they
are to be read together, with the former word in the construct state: so
BNY-Y%R)L means "sons of Israel" with BNY the construct state of BNYM. An
analytical lexicon would have warned you that this is a possible reading,
and actually preferable reading.

As far as a grammar, I'm not sure which is the best.

Karl W. Randolph.

On Tue, Dec 9, 2008 at 5:40 AM, Mary Thompson <maryethomp2005 at mac.com>wrote:

> Hello Everyone -
> I'm very new on this list-serve and new also to trying to understand
> the Tanakh in Hebrew.
> I have two questions:
> 1) What dictionary or other reference books would you recommend to
> me?  Currently I'm using the JPS Hebrew-English Tanakh, but the only
> dictionary I have is the one included in my Strong's Concordance,
> which is an older edition from 1983.  I'd be willing to get a updated
> dictionary if you could recommend one that was more complete or
> accurate.  Is there a grammar primer you'd recommend as well?
> 2) Also, I've noticed in the Tanakh that often before a word there is
> a prefix joined by a 'dash' (for lack of a better term).  For
> example, at Exodus 12:27 the word for Israelites in the Hebrew is BNY-
> Y$R'L.  This prefix is listed in Strong's as related to 'to build'.
> The English says "...the houses of the Israelites..."  so am I right
> in understanding that the prefix sets up the possessive?
> Another example, one that I have not been able to find in Strong's,
> is `DT-Y$R'L at Exodus 12:6.  This is given in English as "...the
> assembled congregation of the Israelites..." but the prefix isn't
> listed in my book.
> Thank you in advance for your help.
> Mary.
> _____________
> Mary Thompson
> maryethomp2005 at mac.com
> "I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn
> how to do it."
>  -- Pablo Picasso

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