Resources for Biblical, Theological, and Religious Studies maintained by Tyler F. Williams

Hebrew Concordances

A handy tool for doing exegetical research is a concordance. A concordance of the Hebrew Bible will index every word that occurs in the Hebrew Bible and produce it with a short excerpt from the context so you can see the different ways a particular word is used.

The classic concordance of the Hebrew Bible is Mandelkern, which arranges entries by root and breaks them down according to their grammatical forms. Unfortunately for most students glosses are provided in Latin. A more useful and affordable concordance is Lisowsky. This work is arranged alphabetically, but only provides complete listings for verbs and nouns. Entries receive minimal grammatical analysis (for instance, verbs are listed by stem and not by form), though they contain a wealth of other information. For example, nouns are arranged by function (i.e., noun as subject, object, etc.), and frequent subject-verb correspondences are often noted. Brief translations are provided in German, English, and Latin.

Both of these concordances, however, have been surpassed by Even-Shoshan. This work lists all words alphabetically and according to their grammatical form (like Mandelkern), and provides a word's meanings (in modern Hebrew) with textual references. It also notes a word's frequency, its use in important collocations, and related words. The 2nd edition is far more accessible for English readers as biblical references are given in English rather than modern Hebrew, and it comes with John H. Sailhamer's Introduction to a New Concordance of the Old Testament (Baker, 1984). Unfortunately, these works are all fairly expensive and difficult to purchase, though you should be able to get used copies through Amazon.

Perhaps more useful for beginning students is this Hebrew-English concordance:

  • John R. Kohlenberger and James A. Swanson, The Hebrew English Concordance to the Old Testament with the New International Version (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998) Buy from Amazon.ca | Buy from Amazon.com

BHS This work is nicely laid out and user-friendly. It lists all Hebrew words alphabetically, yet provides generous context lines in English translation. In addition, the Hebrew throughout is transliterated and every word is coded according to the G/K numbering system (with cross references to Strong's numbers) makes this work quite useful for those who are just beginning to learn Hebrew and Aramaic. For more information on this work, you may read my review in the Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (1999).

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Last Updated on Monday, 11 May 2009 16:55