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Vowels, Consonants and Hebrew

August 10, 2009

If you pick up a Hebrew newspaper in Israel it is written without vowels. The Hebrew Bibles and online bilingual Hebrew/English Bibles generally have the vowels.

Below is Genesis 1:1 without and with the vowels. Remember Hebrew reads from right- to- left.

בראשית ברא אלהים את השמים ואת הארץ׃

בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ׃

You might say, “It’s all Greek to me”. Actually no, it’s Hebrew. Notice the tiny dots, dashes, T’s and other markings. Those are the vowel pointing.

I have a Hebrew Torah in my office that only has the consonants, no vowels. I keep it to remind myself how important Bible translation is to people who don’t have the Bible in their language.

You really have to know Hebrew well to be able to read without the vowels. However try to read the sentences below in English without the vowels.

Whn y knw th wrds t’s nt dffclt. Wr y bl t rd t?

Could you ndrstnd it?


One Comment leave one →
  1. Julia permalink
    August 11, 2009 10:21 am

    I love this!!!

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