HBRW WTHT VWLS GN (Hebrew Without Vowels Again)

In line with this previous post about how to get across to students that Biblical Hebrew was originally written without vowel indicators, I found this great example over at Davar Akher:

Th lphbt s hrd t mstr;
Rdng bck t frnt’s dsstr.
Nlss h’s rd th clssfds,
whr trth, bbrvtd, hds,
th wld-b rdr f th Bbl,
prsntd wth th txt, s lbl
t trn nd rn wth shrks nd hwls-
th hbrw Scrptrs hv n vwls!

Jessica Shaver

I will have to use this poem next year.


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4 Responses to HBRW WTHT VWLS GN (Hebrew Without Vowels Again)

  1. The idea is useful but the example immediately suffers from the absense of a letter – consonant – in English that represents a glottal stop. alphabet requires an aleph or an ayin to give a legitmate start to the syllable.

  2. Chris Weimer says:

    I agree with Bob MacDonald. However, I think I have the poem still…

    The alphabet is hard to master;
    Reading back to front’s a disaster.
    UNless he’s read the clssifieds,
    where truth, abbreviated, hides,
    the would-be reader of the Bible,
    presented with the text, is liable
    to turn and run with shrieks and howels-
    the hebrew Scriptures have no vowels!

    Line 2, since there’s nothing to indicate that a vowel is needed, I went ahead and supplied “a” before “disaster” because otherwise it would sound awkward…

  3. Here’s an example I invented in response to a comment on the SBL article by Griffin on Killing a Dead Language (good arguments):

    ‘i lrn )nglsh frm ‘ bk
    – works using mater lectiones to point the glottal stops.

  4. Pingback: Codex: Biblical Studies Blogspot » Blog Archive » MR HBRW WTHT VWLS (More Hebrew without Vowels)

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