Sunday 30 July 2023

Engaging with the source of being

I noticed this note from early 2022.

Being — passage of time. 
No time. No being.

Character of the source?

Loves large numbers. 
Loves chance. 
Loves fragility. 
Hide and seek. 
Seven times round with elegant swiftness. 
Deception and parasite.

Must create time. Aeveternal apparently.

Fundamental of pleasure.

Troubled by totalitarian impulse. 
Needs desire for knowledge. 
Unavoidable conflict.

Necessity of breath. 
Spirit whispers body into being. 
Self opposite other. 
Self in presence of other. 
Opposite, face to face, not necessarily opposition.

Thursday 27 July 2023

The letter l - a cursory look

 Here's the only verse in Scripture that uses lamed (l), that great camel of a letter, 6 times.

לְמִ֨י א֥וֹי לְמִ֪י אֲב֡וֹי לְמִ֤י מִדְיָנִ֨ים ׀ לְמִ֥י שִׂ֗יחַ לְ֭מִי פְּצָעִ֣ים חִנָּ֑ם
לְ֝מִ֗י חַכְלִל֥וּת עֵינָֽיִם
29 Whose is woe? whose is appetite? whose is dissension? whose is blather? whose are inflicted wounds for nothing?
whose are flushed eyes?
c't lmi aoi lmi aboi lmi mdiinim lmi wik lmi pxyim kinm
lmi kclilut yiniim

Proverbs 23:29
I'm sure you can find the answer. It's people who read lexica who inflict wounds on themselves for nothing. This return to the low tone of voice sums up the first four statements and underlines the approach to the cadence. Thank God for a rest in the middle of a verse. But what about the grammar: mi is itself a word signifying the question who. So lmi repeated 6 times is this verse is belonging to whom, or whose. Six verbless sentences. A plural noun on either side of the rest.

The prefixed l is another prefixed preposition with multiple glosses attached to it. In fact the article in BDB is too long for the chatgpt interface. The bot made up a little bit of nonsense when I asked it about lamed. So I have abandoned that approach in favor of a manual summary.

I found myself disappointed in the layout of the 7 different classes of usage that BDB lists. There is no end to layout options these days with our screen real-estate, but in BDB's day, paper was at a premium and the book promised to be very big, so almost all white space was eliminated in structural lists.

לְ prep. to, for, in regard to and used in many varied applications, in some of which the idea of direction predominates, in others that of reference.

1. very often, with various classes of verbs, to, towards, for ...
2. Expressing locality, at, near, idiom. 
3. To denote the object of a vb. —
4. Into ( εἰς ), of a transition into a new state or condition, or into a new character.
5. With reference to, 
6. Of time: towards, against, sometimes with collat. idea of in view of, for, during
7. With an infinitive. 

 I suspect that no one person actually sat down to write that section. It must have been contributed to by many grad students. Here's what I found. It's unreadable. My eyes are definitely tired and flushed after scanning this paragraph. There's no way one can learn easily from such a breakdown, however comprehensive it seems to be. 

Monday 24 July 2023

And you will talk about these words etc.

How is one to approach by example the more than 15,000 instances of the prefix b (beth)? I found a verse with 7 instances and at least two differing uses. (Can't learn everything at once.)

Deuteronomy 6:7 (we've been near here before)

וְשִׁנַּנְתָּ֣ם לְבָנֶ֔יךָ וְדִבַּרְתָּ֖ בָּ֑ם
בְּשִׁבְתְּךָ֤ בְּבֵיתֶ֙ךָ֙ וּבְלֶכְתְּךָ֣ בַדֶּ֔רֶךְ וּֽבְשָׁכְבְּךָ֖ וּבְקוּמֶֽךָ
7 And you will sharpen them for your children, and speak in them,
when you sit in your house, and when you walk in the way, and when you lie down, and when you arise.
z vwinntm lbniç vdibrt bm
bwbtç bbitç ublctç bdrç ubwocbç ubqumç

Note first the pulse of the music and the accents and cadence on the word them. See bar 2 (-tam) and bar 5 (bam). In the second half of the verse, the accent is on the your of each noun. It's curious that I rendered these as verbs rather than nominal forms of the verb. Each action is owned by the hearer, whether sitting, or walking or lying down, or arising. But it is quite natural to translate them as verbs and lose the musical emphasis on the second person singular suffixes. So there are clearly three usages of b here: one containing the idea of time and rendered by when, another containing the idea of place and rendered by in, and a third with the idea of speech and thought and rendered awkwardly by in. Perhaps about would be suitable but surely it loses the immersion. Clearly there is a relationship set up here between the words and the people, in this case individually, though the plurality may be implied in the sense of corporately and severally.

Where the preposition is used without a root, such as is collected here, you can see b rendered by several English prepositions, in, about, by, against, etc. BDB summarizes these. It is very hard to read on its own so I asked Chatgpt to summarize the section. What I fed it was somewhat garbled with LTR and RTL errors, but it made a good stab at it.

The preposition "בְּ" (beth) is primarily used to indicate various relationships of proximity and accompaniment, such as "in," "with," "by," "among," and "through." It is also used to denote various meanings, including location, presence, means, instrument, and price.

The text further divides the uses of "בְּ" into different categories, such as "in a place," "presence in a multitude," "within enclosing limits," "motion into a place," "state or condition," and "proximity."

It also discusses how "בְּ" is used in relation to God, indicating actions done by or with the aid of God, such as prophesying in the name of God or swearing by God.

The preposition "בְּ" is also used to express cost or price, where the price of something is considered the means by which an action is accomplished, as in "buying for a certain price" or "exchanging one thing for another."

Overall, the text presents a detailed analysis of the various nuances and uses of the preposition "בְּ" (beth) in Hebrew, providing valuable insights into its multifaceted functions in the language. However, understanding the specific linguistic and grammatical points would require a deeper understanding of Hebrew language and its syntax.

Does anything here surprise you? I had not particularly associated beth with economic or political cost - but it is definitely there and the translation might be as simple as "I did x for [the cost of] y". To cover the prefixed preposition b will require many worked examples.

Sunday 16 July 2023

Single letter prefixes, w

Eleven of the 22 letters in Hebrew are used in grammatical forms. These are א ב ה ו י כ ל מ נ ש ת in SimHebrew a b h v i c l m n w t. Tet, ט, 't sounds like t, is a minor player on the grammatical team, occasionally changing place in a word, (a feature called metastasis that occurs with the letter taf also).

Of the main 11, the following act as single letter prefixes: b, h, v, c, l, m, and w. This last seems a late development in Biblical Hebrew, but is more common in modern Hebrew. It occurs a little over 150 times in the Bible, roughly 2/3 of these in the Song and Qohelet. So if it is a late development, then perhaps these books too are late.

For example, wli, pronounced as shli, reads 'that is mine'. Here it seems to me like an abbreviation of awr li. This occurs exactly twice in the Song of Solomon only. It forms a frame, 1:6 and 8:12. Note how this is not abbreviated in the alliterative verse 1: wir hwirim awr lwlmh. The song of songs which is of Solomon.

So here are two verses encompassing a whole book. And what a book. Of course you may think it is 'of Solomon' but be warned, single letter prefixes (in this case l) do not translate rigidly always into the same sense. Nor does the attribution to Solomon imply that the ancient king wrote it.

Song 1:6 and 8:12, a frame for the song

Song 1:6 is a unique musical phrase. Again there is a change of reciting note in bar 6 that is striking - mother mine! Perhaps the young one is a tad impetuous. Song 6:12 has the same sequence of accents as 4 other verses. Exodus 2:24, Joshua 8:28, Jeremiah 20:17, and Hosea 4:9. It occurs also as part of Genesis 39:15. One can read significance into these similarities, but I did not test the syllable counts, so the music, even if a similar shape, is not identical. Nor would the shape be easily remembered in this case. 

How many single letter prefixes can you see / hear (!) in these two verses? w (6), b (1), c (0), h (3), l (5), m(0), v(1). Have I got them all? In the case of wli I have to treat the l as the root - though really there is no root in the word. But I had to have a place to put every word exactly once in my concordance.

Here are the data and syllable counts. Note that there is much more to say about grammar for these verses. Perhaps we will come back to them for suffix analysis.
אַל־תִּרְא֙וּנִי֙ שֶׁאֲנִ֣י שְׁחַרְחֹ֔רֶת שֶׁשֱּׁזָפַ֖תְנִי הַשָּׁ֑מֶשׁ
בְּנֵ֧י אִמִּ֣י נִֽחֲרוּ־בִ֗י שָׂמֻ֙נִי֙ נֹטֵרָ֣ה אֶת־הַכְּרָמִ֔ים כַּרְמִ֥י שֶׁלִּ֖י לֹ֥א נָטָֽרְתִּי
You will not stare at me that I am swarthy, that the sun has glanced on me.
My mother's children were scorched by me. They set me up to mind the vineyards. My vineyard that is mine I could not mind.
v al-trauni wani wkrkort wwzptni hwmw
bni aimi nikru-bi wmuni no'trh at-hcrmim crmi wli la n'trti

כָּרְמִ֥י שֶׁלִּ֖י לְפָנָ֑י
הָאֶ֤לֶף לְךָ֙ שְׁלֹמֹ֔ה וּמָאתַ֖יִם לְנֹטְרִ֥ים אֶת־פִּרְיֽוֹ
12 My vineyard that is mine is before me.
The thousand is for you Solomon, and two hundred for those who mind his fruit.
ib crmi wli lpnii
half lç wlmh umatiim lno'trim at-priio

I asked chatgpt about the single character prefixes. It missed several and we had quite a conversation defining terms. 

Saturday 15 July 2023

Grammar - illustrating some common single letter prefixes

I found a verse (1 Chronicles 12:24) with prefixes c, m, and h just by scanning on a filter. A little more work on my part allowed me to see the count of the use of these common prefixes: c (caf) is used 3,168 times as a prefix, m (mem) 17,419, v (vav) 60,131, h (heh) 34,070, b (beth) 15,386, and l (lamed) 17,689.

So prefixes are very commonly used. We need to get a handle on them and the variability of their usage. I was surprised, having not looked at my programming, how I had not included 'h' in my single character prefixes. The reason is perhaps -- I don't remember -- that h has a number of different uses as a prefix in both verbs and nouns.

If you look at a lexicon like BDB, you will of course find a long essay on each letter. I wonder if it could be made easier to absorb. Every one of the grammatical team of letters needs such an essay, as do the weak letters that appear or disappear in various word forms, and the strong ones that rarely disappear or metastasize. Perhaps I will find specific memorable verses that will illustrate the various letter prefixes. Verses with combinations of prefixes are relatively easy to find. E.g. there are 1211 verses that contain words with both prefixes c and m.

But not to be too dependent on counting, we still need to see and hear things in their context in order to learn by example.

Here first is the music for this randomly chosen verse 1 Chronicles 12:24.

1 Chronicles 12:24

This verse is a contrast to the well known verses of the first two posts on the grammar of love. 1 Chronicles 12:24 is not exactly my or anyone's favorite on which one could hang all the law and the prophets. It's more about the political and personal violence that pervades our social structures.

The music with the beginning ornament (telisha-gadola) connects this verse to the prior verse. This connection I find holds whenever the first note of a verse is not the tonic. The pattern of accents (telisha-gedola, tarsin, yetiv, silluq) opens a verse 5 times in the Scripture: Genesis 18:30, 32, Jeremiah 46:27. 28, and occurs mid-verse twice 2 Kings 3:11, Jeremiah 41:5. (If you drop the silluq, the count is 56.) None of these have the strange single note recitation as in bar 2 above. This makes the translator wonder if there is not an element of criticism or appeal in the use of 'head' for this so called company. That is one reason why I have let 'gang' stand as the gloss.

24 וְ֠אֵלֶּה מִסְפְּרֵ֞י רָאשֵׁ֤י הֶֽחָלוּץ֙ לַצָּבָ֔א בָּ֥אוּ עַל־דָּוִ֖יד חֶבְר֑וֹנָה
לְהָסֵ֞ב מַלְכ֥וּת שָׁא֛וּל אֵלָ֖יו כְּפִ֥י יְהוָֽה ס

cd valh mspri rawi hklux lxba bau yl-dvid kbronh 
lhsb mlcut waul aliv cpi ihvh s

And these (v/alh) are the count of (m/spr\i) the gangs (raw\i) of the ready-armed h/klux (a three word construct chain) for the host (l/xba). They came (ba\u - vav pronounced as u is the third person plural suffix for the perfect) to David (yl-dvid) toward Hebron (kbron\h - final h suffix denoting toward),
to bring around (lhsb) the kingdom of Saul (mlc\ut waul construct) to him (al\iv), according to the mandate of Yahweh. (c/pi ihvh - lit. according to the mouth of HaShem another construct form) S

A brief example of how a random verse can be taken apart grammatically word by word, phrase by phrase.

Tuesday 11 July 2023

The grammar of love - part 2

There is such a lot to learn from any verse in context. The second great commandment is more complex than you might have expected, 12 words in two very uneven sections. Look at the music:
Leviticus 19:18
ik la-tiqom vla-ti'tor at-bni ymç vahbt lriyç cmoç 
ani ihvh

18 You will not avenge, and you will not hold back with the children of your people, but you will love your associate as yourself.
I am Yahweh.

Here the first two words are a negative (la pronounced lo not) followed by another second person singular verb (tiqom). This time we know it is second person singular by the prefix t. In the first of the great commandments, the t was a suffix. How interesting. I wonder what the differences are? The next two words with the prefix v vla-ti'tor (see the music for the pronunciation) are likewise a negative and a second person singular verb, presumably in the same form as the first one. That direct object particle (at pronounced et) morphs into a preposition, with, followed by the children of your people, at-bni ymç. Here we meet the ayin. SimHebrew uses the y, a similar shape to the square letter ע. It is in this context that we see the next connector v with the word vahbt. Here also is what is called a construct chain of nouns bni ymç the children of your people.

I will promote Chatgpt to the body of this post. I asked if it was still there from yesterday and here's its response. Note the two different verb forms, 'tenses' as it calls them, perfect and imperfect. Chatgpt does not know SimHebrew. I wonder if it can be taught.

Yes, I'm still here! It's great to see your enthusiasm and the recognition of the importance of music in understanding and interpreting the verse. Let's analyze the verse you provided: לֹא־תִקֹּם וְלֹא־תִטֹּר אֶת־בְּנֵי עַמֶּךָ וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ אֲנִי יְהוָה.

  1. Prohibition: The verse begins with two negative prohibitions:
  • לֹא־תִקֹּם (lo-tiqom) means "you shall not take revenge" or "you shall not bear a grudge." The verb תִּקֹּם (tiqom) is in the second person singular, imperfect tense, and is negated by לֹא (lo).
  • וְלֹא־תִטֹּר (ve-lo-titor) means "you shall not harbor hatred" or "you shall not keep a grudge." The verb תִּטֹּר (titor) is also in the second person singular, imperfect tense, and is negated by וְלֹא (ve-lo).
  1. Direct Object: The direct object of the prohibitions is אֶת־בְּנֵי עַמֶּךָ (et-benei amekha), which means "against the children of your people" or "against your fellow Israelites." The direct object marker אֶת (et) precedes the noun phrase בְּנֵי עַמֶּךָ (benei amekha).

  2. Positive Command: The verse then presents a positive command:

  • וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ (ve-ahavta lere'akha kamokha) means "you shall love your neighbor as yourself." This command consists of the verb אָהַבְתָּ (ahavta) in the second person singular, perfect tense, followed by the preposition לְ (le) meaning "to" and the noun רֵעַ (rea) meaning "neighbor," modified by the pronominal suffix -ךָ (kha) indicating "yourself." The comparison "as yourself" is conveyed by the word כָּמוֹךָ (kamokha).
  1. Declaration: The verse concludes with the declaration אֲנִי יְהוָה (ani YHWH), which means "I am the LORD." This serves as a reminder of the authority behind the commandments given.
Indeed, the melody and musical notation, including the placement of the atnah (a melodic pause), can contribute to the interpretation and emotional impact of the verse. Exploring the musical aspects of the Hebrew text can further enhance our understanding and appreciation of its depth and beauty. 

What, besides the obvious and less than obvious lesson to love, have we learned from these two verses about grammar and parts of speech? A huge amount! 
  • We have seen three of the very common prefixes, v (vav), b (beth), and l (lamed). When vav and beth are combined, we saw them reduced to the single syllable ub (pronounced uv). The remaining three are h, c and m. (I asked Chatgpt to look for a verse but it was not successful. You could help me debug the collection of words that it came up with in the search here. Not worth the effort actually since only one phrase is actually in the verse it cited.) Hebrew prepositions and other small bits of language have a very wide range of possible glosses in English.
  • We have identified verbs in context for the perfect and imperfect forms.
  • We have seen second person singular and plural pronoun suffixes.
  • We have seen second person singular prefixes and suffixes for a verb.
  • We have seen the negative la used in context.
  • We have briefly examined the idea of the root of a word.
  • We have seen the plural of bn (bnim reduced to bni when part of a chain of nouns).
  • We have observed that although the atnah divides a verse in two, it may divide into two parts of very unequal length.
  • We also see a verbless clause in the last two words. ani ihvh. There are several verses particularly in Leviticus that end with this phrase. The music is sometimes as above, and sometimes not.
Maybe we have learned some vocab, but I am loth to memorize it. I think we need to hear it aurally and musically to really learn like children.

You will notice that there are many transcription methods for the square text. This is unavoidable. The SimHebrew is derived from the square text by algorithm. Similarly my lyrics for the music are automated from the square text. SimHebrew is reversible - but not with vowels and not with the music. 

Monday 10 July 2023

The grammar of love - part 1

Let me begin the Grammar book I suggested with some grammar and pronunciation by example. Best to chose a verse or phrase that is well known and illustrates something.

What about the summary of the law... Deuteronomy 6:5.

And you will love Yahweh your God,
with all your heart and with all your being and with all your capacity.

h vahbt at ihvh alohiç
bcl-lbbç ubcl-npwç ubcl-maodç

Syllables: 27. Words: 10. Roots: 8. Root Recurrence: 30%. Average per verse: 3.

Let's see if my algorithm counted correctly. Yes 10 lexical 'words' in Hebrew, but in this case not 10 stresses since some of the words are connected by hyphens. That gives a total of 7 in the Hebrew.

The SimHebrew does not transcribe the stresses. The accents are music and reading them is much more important than reading the vowels correctly. The music reflects the tone of voice.

Here it is.

Deuteronomy 6:5
If I were to locate the accents in the translation with italics, it would be like this.
And love-will-you, [] Yahweh your-God, // 
with-all heart-yours and-with-all being-yours and-with-all capacity-yours.

Normal English does not reflect the Hebrew thought sequence or barlines of course. And normal English does not usually translate the direct object marker [at].

You can see a rough phonetic transliteration in the music. There are two stresses / pauses in the second bar. One in each of bars 3 and 4. In bar 5 there is a rest on the subdominant - this occurs in over 90% of the verses of the Bible. And there is one stress on each of the last three bars. The 27 syllables reflect those of the music as transcribed.

All the above 'information' is in the square Hebrew text. The decomposition below it will reveal the verbal forms.

וְאָ֣הַבְתָּ֔ אֵ֖ת יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ
בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ֥ וּבְכָל־נַפְשְׁךָ֖ וּבְכָל־מְאֹדֶֽךָ

vahbt at ihvh alohiç
bcl-lbbç ubcl-npwç ubcl-maodç

We have 11 syllables in the first line which takes us from the tonic to the subdominant. 4 + 1 + 2 + 4
16 syllables in the second line 2 + 3 + 2 + 3 + 2 + 4.

The text illustrates prefixed connectors - conjunctions and prepositions, and affixed pronouns. So let's take it apart.

I would like to stay away from the amo-amas-amat method of learning verbs. If I were a child, no one would explain verbal forms when speaking to me. So what is that first word? the final 't' signifies 'you' singular. This is a verb with the stem ahb in one of its many forms. The prefix v is a conjunctive connector like and, or but. If I were a child, I would eventually hear the sound of the final t as signifying me.

Prefixes and suffixes are everywhere in Hebrew. So you can't look up a word in an alphabetical list without knowing what they are and stripping them. There's a short note on this here. This example is easy v/ahb\t. The link shows all uses of this verb in the Bible. But this is getting ahead of ourselves I think. The v in this case merits translation as and. Although the music does not make a connection with the prior verse, I hear the and as making a verbal connection. The letter is called vav, and the word itself means a hook.

The next three words 'at ihvh alohiç' are a very common phrase, especially in the Book of Deuteronomy. Their music will always be different. We no longer distinguish in English the singular you from the plural. The singular and plural forms are both easy to search for in the SimHebrew Bible. The plural is 'at ihvh alohicm'. Your God instead of thy God

The second line of the verse illustrates repetition. It is clear in the English also. When hearing the verse, you might miss the sound of the repeated letter b since it sometimes sounds like v. Note how this letter closes the syllable when it follows a vav rather than opening it. 

The three nouns in this stich all end with the singular second person pronoun c, meaning your. SimHebrew marks this final letter with a cedilla imitating the soffit (ending form) of the Hebrew square letter caf in the Latin character set.

You might notice that I use caf instead of kaf, the traditional spelling, since SimHebrew takes advantage of the mirror image of this letter. c and כ are clearly mirror images. There's an introduction to the letters and the mapping from SimHebrew to Square text here. If you are beginning, you can avoid verbal paradigms for a long time, but you do have to learn the alphabet. Even as children we did this, and long before we understood what an alphabet really represents or how varied the sounds are even in the tongue we are learning.

Much more could be said about this verse and its grammar, but let this suffice for now. Much more could be said about my translations too -- I have been considering restoring soul to the text. Maybe...

Saturday 8 July 2023

What about a (new) grammar book for SimHebrew?

 Surely, Bob, you are not qualified!

When did that ever stop me from exploring ideas?

Dear old Thomas Oden Lambdin - You know I don't even have my books these past 7 months. They are all stored. But I found a pdf online. So What! I would not use his design in any case. Grammar is only of so much value. First we have to have the music also. How would you incorporate music into a grammar book?

There are of course lots of alternatives online - I may have listed them somewhere already on this blog. But - talk about old school. The new dear on the block, Chatgpt, just outlined an approach to the Grammar: (There's nothing on the music of course in this first iteration.)

Table of Contents - Hebrew Grammar Book


  1. Introduction to Hebrew Language 1.1 History and Origins of Hebrew 1.2 Importance and Relevance of Hebrew 1.3 Hebrew Alphabets and Pronunciation

Part I: Basic Concepts 2. Hebrew Alphabet and Vowels 2.1 Consonants and Vowel Points 2.2 Syllable Structure 2.3 Pronunciation Practice

  1. Nouns and Adjectives 3.1 Gender and Number 3.2 Definite and Indefinite Articles 3.3 Noun-Adjective Agreement 3.4 Case and Prepositions

  2. Verbs and Verb Conjugation 4.1 Verb Tenses and Aspect 4.2 Regular and Irregular Verbs 4.3 Conjugation Patterns and Paradigms 4.4 Verb Inflections and Forms

Part II: Sentence Structure and Syntax 5. Word Order in Hebrew 5.1 Subject-Verb-Object Order 5.2 Adverbial Phrases and Sentence Adverbs 5.3 Interrogative Sentences 5.4 Negative Sentences

  1. Direct and Indirect Objects 6.1 Accusative Case and Direct Objects 6.2 Dative Case and Indirect Objects 6.3 Double Accusative and Verbs of Perception

  2. Prepositions and Prepositional Phrases 7.1 Common Prepositions and their Usage 7.2 Prepositions and Spatial Relationships 7.3 Prepositions and Time Expressions

Part III: Advanced Grammar Topics 8. Participles and Verbal Adjectives 8.1 Present and Past Participles 8.2 Verbal Adjectives and Descriptions 8.3 Participles in Verbal Phrases

  1. Relative Clauses and Subordination 9.1 Relative Pronouns and Adjectives 9.2 Relative Clauses and Antecedents 9.3 Subordinate Clauses and Conjunctions

  2. Nominal Sentences and Copular Constructions 10.1 Equational Sentences 10.2 Copular Constructions 10.3 Predicate Adjectives and Nouns

  3. Conditional Sentences and Subjunctive Mood 11.1 Types of Conditional Sentences 11.2 Subjunctive Mood and Expressions 11.3 Hypothetical and Counterfactual Statements

Appendix A. Glossary of Terms B. Verb and Noun Charts C. Additional Practice Exercises D. Answer Key to Selected Exercises


I asked about the music also. Very accommodating, Chatgpt generated this:

Table of Contents - Hebrew Grammar Book


  1. Introduction to Hebrew Language 1.1 History and Origins of Hebrew 1.2 Importance and Relevance of Hebrew 1.3 Hebrew Alphabets and Pronunciation

Part I: Basic Concepts 2. Hebrew Alphabet and Vowels 2.1 Consonants and Vowel Points 2.2 Syllable Structure 2.3 Pronunciation Practice

  1. Cantillation Symbols (Ta'amim) 3.1 Introduction to Cantillation 3.2 Types of Cantillation Symbols 3.3 Cantillation Marks and their Functions 3.4 Reading and Chanting Practice

  2. Nouns and Adjectives 4.1 Gender and Number 4.2 Definite and Indefinite Articles 4.3 Noun-Adjective Agreement 4.4 Case and Prepositions

  3. Verbs and Verb Conjugation 5.1 Verb Tenses and Aspect 5.2 Regular and Irregular Verbs 5.3 Conjugation Patterns and Paradigms 5.4 Verb Inflections and Forms

Part II: Sentence Structure and Syntax 6. Word Order in Hebrew 6.1 Subject-Verb-Object Order 6.2 Adverbial Phrases and Sentence Adverbs 6.3 Interrogative Sentences 6.4 Negative Sentences

  1. Direct and Indirect Objects 7.1 Accusative Case and Direct Objects 7.2 Dative Case and Indirect Objects 7.3 Double Accusative and Verbs of Perception

  2. Prepositions and Prepositional Phrases 8.1 Common Prepositions and their Usage 8.2 Prepositions and Spatial Relationships 8.3 Prepositions and Time Expressions

Part III: Advanced Grammar Topics 9. Participles and Verbal Adjectives 9.1 Present and Past Participles 9.2 Verbal Adjectives and Descriptions 9.3 Participles in Verbal Phrases

  1. Relative Clauses and Subordination 10.1 Relative Pronouns and Adjectives 10.2 Relative Clauses and Antecedents 10.3 Subordinate Clauses and Conjunctions

  2. Nominal Sentences and Copular Constructions 11.1 Equational Sentences 11.2 Copular Constructions 11.3 Predicate Adjectives and Nouns

  3. Conditional Sentences and Subjunctive Mood 12.1 Types of Conditional Sentences 12.2 Subjunctive Mood and Expressions 12.3 Hypothetical and Counterfactual Statements

Appendix A. Cantillation Symbols Chart B. Glossary of Terms C. Verb and Noun Charts D. Additional Practice Exercises E. Answer Key to Selected Exercises


In this updated version, the section on cantillation symbols (Ta'amim) has been added as a separate chapter. It provides an introduction to cantillation, discusses different types of cantillation symbols, their functions, and includes reading and chanting practice. Additionally, an Appendix section has been added at the beginning, which includes a Cantillation Symbols Chart to serve as a quick reference for readers.

Should I ask it to write chapter 1? Not yet. I asked instead for detail on paradigms and after its generation of the detail, I realized that I had not specified Biblical Hebrew so I asked for that - and here is section 5 detail:
Verbs and Verb Conjugation 5.1 Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Verbs 5.2 Regular and Irregular Verbs 5.3 Conjugation Patterns and Paradigms 5.3.1 Introduction to Conjugation Patterns 5.3.2 Conjugation Patterns for Regular Verbs Pattern 1: Qal Conjugation Pattern 2: Niphal Conjugation Pattern 3: Piel Conjugation Pattern 4: Pual Conjugation Pattern 5: Hiphil Conjugation Pattern 6: Hophal Conjugation Pattern 7: Hithpael Conjugation 5.3.3 Irregular Verb Conjugations Irregular Conjugation Patterns Common Irregular Verbs 5.3.4 Verb Paradigms and Example Sentences Perfect (Past) Tense Paradigm Imperfect (Future) Tense Paradigm Imperative Mood Paradigm

So I asked for a paragraph on common irregular verbs:

Here it is:
Common Irregular Verbs in Biblical Hebrew often deviate from the standard conjugation patterns, presenting unique forms and conjugation rules. These irregular verbs play a significant role in the language and are encountered frequently in Biblical texts. Some notable examples include the verb הָיָה (hayah, "to be"), which exhibits irregularities in various tenses and persons, the verb אָמַר (amar, "to say"), which displays alterations in the stem and vowel patterns, and the verb יָדַע (yada, "to know"), which demonstrates irregular conjugation patterns across different stems. Other commonly encountered irregular verbs include בָּרַךְ (barak, "to bless"), שָׁלַם (shalam, "to be at peace"), and עָשָׂה (asah, "to do"). Understanding the irregular conjugations of these verbs is essential for gaining proficiency in reading and interpreting Biblical Hebrew texts accurately.

I think asked for a comparison of Chatgpt's approach to Lambdin. Not a possible answer at this time. But here's the general one.
  1. Structure: Both my approach and traditional textbooks typically begin with an introduction to the Hebrew alphabet, vowels, and pronunciation. They then progress to cover essential topics such as nouns, adjectives, verbs, sentence structure, and syntax. Advanced grammar topics, vocabulary, and exercises are often included as well.

  2. Focus on Grammar: Both approaches prioritize teaching the fundamentals of Hebrew grammar, including noun and verb conjugation, sentence structure, and syntax. The goal is to provide learners with a solid foundation in understanding and constructing Hebrew sentences accurately.

  3. Incorporation of Examples: Both my approach and traditional textbooks utilize examples and exercises to illustrate grammatical concepts and provide practical application. Examples are crucial in demonstrating how grammar rules are applied in real-world contexts and help learners develop their skills in reading and understanding Hebrew texts.

  4. Adaptation to Biblical Hebrew: If focusing on Biblical Hebrew specifically, both approaches would highlight verb forms, conjugation patterns, and vocabulary that are relevant to the biblical texts. They would also discuss specific linguistic features and irregularities encountered in the Hebrew Bible.

  5. Differences: While I can provide comprehensive coverage of Hebrew grammar, including explanations and examples, my responses are generated based on training data and do not have direct access to specific textbooks like Lambdin's. Classic textbooks like Lambdin's may offer more detailed explanations, exercises, and additional resources specific to their approach.