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ALEPH (ă'lĕf, ox). The first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Although a consonant, it is the forerunner of the Greek alpha and the English a. It is also the symbol for the number one (1).

It is placed in the King James Version at the head of the first section of the acrostic psalm, Psalm 119, where each verse of the section begins with this letter.

Codex Sinaiticus

Aleph is also the symbol used to designate Codex Sinaiticus, a 4th cent. Biblical MS located in the British Museum. See Text and Manuscripts of the New Testament and Text and Manuscripts of the Old Testament.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

The first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It is nearly soundless itself and best represented, as in this Encyclopedia, by the smooth breathing (’), but it is the direct ancestor of the Greek, Latin and English "a" as in "father." In either case this beginning of the alphabet happens to be near the very basis of all speech--in one case the simple expiration of breath, in the other the simplest possible vocal action--the actual basis from which all other vowels are evolved. It became also the symbol for the number one (1) and, with the dieresis, 1,000. It is the symbol also for one of the most famous of Greek Biblical manuscripts, the Codex Sinaiticus. For name, written form, etc., see Alphabet.

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