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Heinrich Friedrich Wilhelm Gesenius

1786-1842. German Orientalist and biblical scholar. Born at Nordhausen, Hanover, he received theological training at Helmstedt and Göttingen, and was professor of theology at Halle from 1811. He concentrated on problems of Semitic philology, becoming the most outstanding Hebraist of his generation. His chief work was Hebräisches und Chäldaisches Handwörterbuch (1810-12), which passed through several editions and was the basis of the Hebrew lexicon of Brown, Driver, and Briggs (1906). In 1813 he published the first edition of his Hebrew grammar, edited and enlarged by E. Kautzsch (1899 onward; ET by A.E. Cowley, 1910). He wrote a commentary on Isaiah (1820-21), and his monumental Thesaurus philologico-criticus linguae Hebraeae et Chaldaeae Veteris Testamenti (1829-58) was completed after his death by his pupil E. Rödiger.