[b-hebrew] The vowels of אֶחָד

George Athas George.Athas at moore.edu.au
Fri Apr 8 05:46:36 EDT 2011

Pere, I've started a new thread for your question. The basic question is, as you stated, why אֶחָד 9 ('one') has seghol and not sere in the first syllable since, as the first syllable is open, one would expect a long vowel, like sere.

I notice another example of this phenomenon in the word כֶּחָשׁ ('lying').

In these instances, we have to conclude that the first syllable of the word is actually closed, not open. In both אֶחָד and  כֶּחָשׁ, the second consonant is heth, which often undergoes virtual doubling. We see this occurring when the definite article is added to a noun beginning with heth. Thus, for both these nouns, we actually have a double-heth, but it is not actually marked.

Moore Theological College (Sydney, Australia)

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