Hebrew Grammars

Hebrew grammar books can be divided in two groups, reference grammars and student grammars. The approach of the latter can be further subdivided into inductive and deductive grammars.

Reference grammars tend to be elusive and highly technical in terms of linguistic terminology. Their study presupposes a good knowledge of grammar terms in general and of linguistic concepts in biblical Hebrew in particular. They are especially valuable to students who have acquired a fundamental understanding of biblical Hebrew through a beginner’s or intermediate course/ seminar/ tutorial that covered the nominal system, verbal system (strong and weak verbs), sentence types and semantics of Hebrew.

So far I haven’t distinguished inductive and deductive grammars on this site. A list of student grammars can be found on the Self-Study Page. However, I do not advise a beginner of biblical Hebrew to study alone without the assistance of a qualified and experienced biblical Hebrew language instructor.

Reference Grammars

The following two reference grammars are the leading works in the field. Joüon/ Muraoka’s grammar takes recent scholarship into consideration and comes highly recommended.

Gesenius/ Kautzsch/ Cowley: Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar

For almost a century, Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar has proven to be one of the most comprehensive works on Hebrew, covering all aspects of the language, including historical background, pronunciation, etymology, syntax, and sentence structure. Generally recognized as the most useful and authoritative reference grammar for Biblical Hebrew, the text includes indices of Hebrew words, subjects, and Biblical passages as well as an extremely valuable appendix listing paradigms.
An indispensable resource for students and translators, Gesenius’ book remains the most usable reference grammar for biblical Hebrew.

The second English edition from 1910 is in the public domain and can be acquired from two sites:

1. Wikisource

2. Read online or download in a number of different file formats.

Purchase Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar here.

Joüon/ Muraoka: A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew

Already well known in its two-volume first edition, this is the most extensive revision yet of one of the most complete Hebrew Grammars available in English. This edition brings the work up to the present by taking account of developments in our understanding of the Hebrew language during the intervening years. The work is now presented in a paperback single volume. Professor Muraoka hopes that this helps to make the book more attractive and the content easier to use. As with the earlier edition students of the Old Testament, Hebrew and Semitics who have a basic knowledge of Biblical Hebrew will find much useful insight and information here.

Purchase A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew (Subsidia Biblica)


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