Biblical Hebrew is the ancient Israelite language of the Hebrew Bible (also known as the Tanakh or Old Testament) – the language of the Creation stories, of the Abraham and Sarah stories, the Exodus account, the fall of Samson and the rise of David, the fiery political critiques of Isaiah and Amos, the suffering of Job, the lamentation over the fall of Jerusalem, and the tentative steps toward renewal and rebuilding after the Babylonian exile. The language of these stories is what we will set out to learn.


Semesters 1-2 will focus on reading the ancient Hebrew script and its pronunciation. Vocabulary and grammar will follow, learning forms and uses of nouns, verbs, and other parts of speech. Throughout this time, you will practice reading actual biblical texts to fill out the basics of grammar. By the third semester you will transition from learning grammar to reading longer sections of prose from the stories of the Hebrew Bible. Having acquired the majority of Hebrew grammar, the fourth semester will focus on a mix of prose and poetry.

To master basic Biblical Hebrew vocabulary

To understand the basic morphology, grammar, and syntax of Biblical Hebrew

To be able to translate Hebrew prose and poetry fluidly, as well as read it for comprehension

To use scholarly resources such as lexicons and textual commentaries critically

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