Biblical Hebrew Dictionaries

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“The Hebrew language is peculiarly rich in religious-moral terms, though scanty enough in others.  The reason is evident–it chronicled a revelation.”

John ‘Rabbi’ Duncan

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Subsection

Exegetical & Theological Dictionaries on the Bible

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Order of Contents

Start Here
More Dictionaries
English to Hebrew
Special
Synonyms

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Start Here

Beginner

Holladay, William – A Concise Hebrew & Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, Based upon the Lexical Work of Ludwig Koehler & Walter Baumgartner  Buy  (Eerdmans & Brill, 1988)  445 pp.

Most Hebrew dictionaries list words according to their root, which can sometimes be difficult for the beginner to use.  This dictionary includes the form of the word as it is found in Scripture, is not bulky, is easy to read and is based on modern scholarship.

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Parsing Guides

Davidson, Benjamin – The Analytical Hebrew & Chaldee Lexicon, Consisting of… Every Word & Inflection Contained in the Old Testament… with a Grammatical Analysis of Each Word  Buy  (1855)

Most Hebrew dictionaries lay out the Hebrew words according to their roots.  But how does one know what is the root of the word in question?  This work fully parses out each Hebrew word.  Each Hebrew word, as it is found in Scripture, is listed in alphabetical order.

Beall, Todd, Colin Smith, William Banks – Old Testament Parsing Guide, vol. 1 (Gen-Esth), 2 (Job-Mal)  Buy  (Moody, 1986)

All the verbs, and only the verbs, of the Old Testament are fully parsed, laid out in the order of the books of the Bible (which ordering is very convenient for finding the word in question).

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Advanced

Brown, Francis, S.R. Driver & Charles Briggs – A Hebrew & English Lexicon of the Old Testament  (1906 / 1939)  Buy  based on Gesenius, tr. Edward Robinson  Known as Brown-Driver-Briggs or BDB

This was the best and most standard Hebrew dictionary of the older scholarship.  A wealth of information.  Words are listed by their roots, which can sometimes make finding words tricky; use the parsing guides above. The three editors were liberals (though this does not affect the dictionary’s usefulness much, if one ignores the J.E.P.D. references).

Koehler, Ludwig & Walter Baumgartner – The Hebrew & Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, 2 vols.  Buy  (Brill, 2002)

The best dictionary for the latest scholarship as it has advanced since Brown-Driver-Briggs, though it is terribly expensive.

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More Dictionaries

1800’s

Parkhurst, John – A Hebrew & English Lexicon  1823  8th edition

Frey, Joseph – A Hebrew and English Dictionary  1842

Lee, Samuel – A Lexicon, Hebrew, Chaldee and English, compiled from… Buxtorf, Taylor, Parkhurst and Gesenius  1844

Roy, W.L. – A Complete Hebrew & English Critical and Pronouncing Dictionary… containing all the words in the Holy Bible… together with their derivation and Etymological Meaning… & Illustrated by Numerous Citations from the Targums, Talmud & Cognate Dialects  1846

Gesenius, William – A Hebrew & English Lexicon of the Old Testament  1854  tr. Edward Robsinson

Tregelles, Samuel – Gesenius’s Hebrew & Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament Scriptures, with Additions & Corrections…  1857

Fuerst, Julius – A Hebrew & Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament  1867  tr. Samuel Davidson

Davies, Benjamin – Student’s Hebrew Lexicon: A Compendious & Complete Hebrew & Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament, Chiefly Founded on the Works of Gesenius & Furst  1872

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1900’s

Harkavy, Alexander – Students’ Hebrew & Chaldee Dictionary to the Old Testament  1914  Hebrew Publishing Co.

Klein, Ernest – A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the Hebrew Language for Readers of English  1987  Univ. of Haifa

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English to Hebrew

Newman, Selig – An English & Hebrew Lexicon, composed after Johnson’s Dictionary, containing 15,000 English Words Rendered into Biblical or Rabbinical Hebrew  1832

Robinson, Edward – An English-Hebrew Lexicon: Being a Complete Verbal Index to Gesenius’ Hebrew Lexicon  1877

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Special

How Hebrew Words are Translated in the KJV

Strong, James – The Hebrew Bible; with their Renderings in the Authorized English Version  1890

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Synonyms

Kennedy, James – Studies in Hebrew Synonyms  1898  150 pp.

Girdlestone’s Synonyms of the Old Testament

Click on the alphabetical letters on the right side of the page.  Synonyms are organized in English, alphabetically.

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“The Greek mind was abstract, the Hebrew concrete.”

John ‘Rabbi’ Duncan

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Related Pages

The Bible

Old Testament Commentaries

Old Testament Background, Survey, Authenticity & Introduction

Old Testament Theology

Hebrew Vowel Points

Bible Dictionaries

Bible Chronology

Textual Criticism