Author's Bias | Interpretation: conservative

The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon: Preface

The Object and Plan of the Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon

From what has been briefly stated in the Preface, it will sufficiently appear that this Work is intended, not so much to teach the first principles of Hebrew Grammar, as to provide the Student who has already begun to read a little (ever so little) with the means of making speedy and sure after progress. Its object is to assist him in his practice of the Sacred Text, by enabling him to apply the Rules he has learned, and may be learning; and, by supplying him with the Analysis of every single word in the entire language, under every form it can assume, it promises him exemption from the tedium and disappointment of uncertainty in his investigations.

Experience has shown that multitudes of Hebrew students, after having overcome the first difficulties under the instruction of a living Teacher, abandon further study for lack of a Guide through the yet untrodden intricacies of the Language. Our aim has been to provide a permanent Instructor to succeed the Living Teacher in his function of solving the difficulties of the inquiring Student; and we have endeavoured neither to mislead by imperfect information, nor to disappoint by suppressing the explanation of apparently trifling matters.

As an ANALYTICAL LEXICON, this work embraces especially the ETYMOLOGY and SIGNIFICANCE of WORDS.

The following summary will exhibit the mode of treatment adopted:


  • I. The entire body of Words, contained in the Hebrew Scriptures, exactly as they are found in the Text, have been thrown into Alphabetical order; so that each, accompanied by its prefixes, suffixes, and under every modification of form, may be immediately found by an alphabetical reference.
  • II. Each word thus arranged is concisely and fully parsed, its composition is explained, and its simple form and root given.
  • III. Whenever the form of the word analysed agrees with the Tables of Paradigms, a plain but full statement of the nature of the word has been considered sufficient; but where any peculiar difficulty or irregularity exists, reference has also been made to the section of the Grammatical Introduction in which the deviation is explained.
  • IV. To provide standards of inflexion and comparison, a complete series of PARADIGMS of the Verbs, Pronouns, and Nouns, of both the Hebrew and Chaldee languages, has been prepared.
  • V. These Tables are accompanied with Explanations and Remarks, which account for every deviation from the Tables, and comprise a COLLECTION OF EVERY SINGLE EXCEPTIONAL CASE. In the body of the work, these Explanations are indicated by reference to their number.
  • VI. Every form that happens to occur but once in the Bible has its reference to the passage given at the foot of the page. To this we have attended in the minutest difference of the forms in order to increase the references, so valuable to the beginner who has no Concordance. When, however, the form is especially peculiar, more than one reference is given.
  • VII. The place of the Accent is throughout indicated by a perpendicular line ( ׀ ) under the tone syllable, except when the form is affected by a pausal accent, where ( ’ ) is used to indicate the tone-syllable; while the absence of pausal accent and influence are marked with ( , ).
  • VIII. Kamets Hhattup ( ŏ ) is distinguished from the long Kamets ( ā ) by this sign (R). But this is used only in the forms analysed, in the leading forms of the derivatives under their respective roots, and in those forms where its use requires particular notice.


  • IX. A full explanation of the various meanings of the words will be found under their respective Roots, in their alphabetical place.
  • X. In preparing the Lexicography, Gesenius has been chiefly relied on for definitions; but the works of Dr. Lee, Winer, Biesenthal, Fürst, and others, have been compared throughout.
  • XI. In addition to the various significations of each root, a Synoptical List of all the words derived from each is given, to aid the student in remembering the connection between the root and its derivatives.


Taken from "The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon" by Benjamin Davidson. ©1981 by Hendrickson Publishers. Used by permission of Hendrickson Publishers, P.O. Box 3473, Peabody, Mass 01961-3473 (

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