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12. Introduction to Hebrew Verbs

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There are other introductory matters as well that are presented in 12.1-12.4. Study the chapter carefully but know that all of this material will be repeated in greater depth in later lessons of the grammar.

You will also be assigned the study of pp. 63-66 in the Basics of Biblical Hebrew: Workbook (Choosing and Using a Hebrew Lexicon). The use of a standard lexicon will be an important part of your work throughout this course. Now is the time that you need to learn how to use a lexicon. This assignment begins that process.

Chapter Overview

Listen to Miles' Chapter Overview


Overheads (PowerPointPDF)

Biblical examples (PDF)

Chapter Material

  1. Read pages 62-80 in English Grammar to Ace Biblical Hebrew.

  2. Read this chapter from beginning to end but don't study it carefully until you have listened to the lecture. In the first read through, don't try to memorize even the names of the major verbal stems and conjugations; just get a good sense of what we mean by the terms "stem" and "conjugation." However, study 12.12-12.14 with care.

  3. Listen to Gary's full lecture

  4. Study every section of the chapter carefully. There isn't much to memorize in this chapter (at least, not yet) but you should be able to list the various stems and conjugations and you should be able to spell the names of the stems correctly. This chapter is just an introduction to the Hebrew verbal system and, as noted above, most of this material will be presented in greater detail in later chapters.

  5. Listen to the vocabulary


Please complete all the exercises on pp. 59-62 and read "Choosing and Using a Hebrew Lexicon" on pp. 63-66.

For this lesson and for all later lessons in the grammar and workbook, it is now expected that you will regularly use a standard lexicon to help with translation exercises. We strongly urge you to purchase W. L. Holladay, A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988. This is a good, easy-to-use beginner's lexicon.


  1. Exercise Nine (page 61)

  2. Exercise Twelve (page 61)

Correct your homework with the answer key


  1. What is the lexical form of triconsonantal verbs?

  2. What differentiates strong verbs and weak verbs?

  3. What is the normal word order for a Hebrew sentence?

  4. Do you fully understand every summary point in section 12.17?

  5. Can you spell the names of the seven major verbal stems correctly?

  6. Do you know the difference between active, passive and reflexive? These are the three basic categories of verbal voice.

  7. What is the difference between the Hebrew Perfect and Imperfect? This is one of the most important points in this chapter. Study 12.11.1 and 12.11.2 if you are uncertain.

  8. What is meant by the term "volitional"?

  9. Can you tell the difference between a strong verb and a weak verb?

  10. What is the normal word order for a verbal sentence in Hebrew? Check 12.14 if you don't know.



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