Ask a Hebrew Teacher! Difference between Biblical and Modern Hebrew?

Hi, everybody! Yana here, welcome to Ask A Teacher, where I’ll answer some of your most common Hebrew questions. The question for this lesson is just what is the difference between biblical and Modern Hebrew? Now you may be attracted to Hebrew for any number of reasons Perhaps you want to communicate with friends or family or maybe you’ve interested in studying the many religious and classical texts? Written in Hebrew Depending on your reasons for learning Hebrew, you may end up learning one of two very different languages. Biblical or classical Hebrew was an ancient language that first emerged in the 10th century BC. Over the next centuries, the ancient Hebrew people used it to communicate and to take a record of their history, religion, philosophy, poetry and Culture. A portion of this literally record formed the basis of Hebrew Scriptures and also what came to be called the Bible. During the Roman period, The language evolved beyond recognition and later fell out of use in Daily life. But it lived on in religious contexts. Hebrew experienced a revival in the late 19th century as part of the larger zionist movement Thanks to the effort of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, who prepared the first Modern Hebrew dictionary, people started using Hebrew again to communicate with one another as they went about their lives. But because of the influence of European languages Hebrew changed grammar pronunciation vocabulary Not a single aspect of the language went untouched by the transformation unlike any other Modern language Hebrew continues to change So for example the word I or me in biblical Hebrew is ‘Annokhi’ This same word has changed in Modern Hebrew to ‘Anni’ besides this change in pronunciation, Modern Hebrew got a lot of new words from languages like French and German. For, example the word concrete or Baton came from French, while Schnitzel or Schnitzel came from German, and of course, there are new words to describe things that did not exist in ancient times like electricity Hashmaal computer mahshev car mehonith telephone telefone At this point in history, Someone familiar only with biblical Hebrew would not be able to communicate very well with contemporary native speakers. At the same time, a Modern Hebrew speaker cannot easily read the Bible. How was it? Pretty interesting, right? Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them. להתראות

100 Replies to “Ask a Hebrew Teacher! Difference between Biblical and Modern Hebrew?”

  1. I am studying the English Bible and there are a lot of names of Biblical Families that drastically slow my reading in fear of pronunciation. Right now I am in Nehemiah Chapter 12 Priest and Levites. An I am thinking it would be so nice if I knew the actual pronunciation of the names. Who can help?

  2. how to read the Old Testament in Tiberian (Masoretic) Hebrew (for Christians interested in learning the OT):

    1. the alphabet:

    א ālêf – the glottal stop 'ʔa' sound
    בּ bēṯ – the English b sound
    ב b̠ēt̠ – the English v sound
    ג ġimmêl – the French 'r' sound (similar to Arabic ġāyn 'غ')
    ג gimmêl – the English g sound
    ד d̠ālêt̠ – the English 'th' sound (as in the English definitive article 'the')
    ד dālêt̠ – the English 'd' sound
    ה hē – the English 'h' sound
    ו wāw – the English 'w' sound
    ז zāyn – the English 'z' sound
    ח ḥēṯ – the Arabic 'ḥā – ح' sound
    ט ṭēṯ – the Arabic 'ṭā – ط' sound
    י yōḏ – the English 'y' sound
    ּכּ/ך kāf – the English 'k' sound
    ך/כ ḫāf – the German 'ch' sound
    ל lāmêd̠ – the English 'l' sound
    מ/ם mēm – the English 'm' sound
    נ/ן nūn – the English 'n' sound
    ס sāmêh̬ – the English 's' sound
    ע 'ayīn – the Arabic 'ʕa – ع' sound
    ּפּ/ף pē – the English 'p' sound
    פ/ף fē – the English 'f' sound
    צ/ץ ṣādi – the Arabic 'ṣā – ص' sound
    ק qōf – the Arabic 'qāf – ق' sound
    ר rēš – the Spanish 'r' sound
    שׁ šīn – the German 'sch' sound
    שׂ sīn – the English 's' sound
    תּ tāw – the English 't' sound
    ת ṯāw – the Arabic 'ṯā – ث' sound

    2. the vowels:

    בַ paṯāḥ – á (i.e. long 'ah' sound, like in the word 'shaft')
    בֲ ḥāṭaf-paṯāḥ – à (i.e. short 'ah' sound, like in the word 'cup')
    בָ qāmêṣ – ɔ (i.e. long light 'o' sound, like in the words 'saw')
    בֳ ḥāṭaf-qāmêṣ – ɔ (i.e. short light 'o' sound, like in the word 'bought')
    בֶ sêġōl – ɛ (i.e. long light 'e' sound, like in the word 'nether')
    בֱ ḥāṭaf-sêġōl – ɛ (i.e. short light 'e' sound, like in the word 'bet')
    בִ ḥīriq – i (i.e. the 'i' sound, like in the word 'bit')
    בֵ ṣērē – ē (i.e. the heavy 'e' sound, like in the word 'head')
    בוּ šūruq – ú (i.e. the longer 'u' sound, like in the word 'moon')
    בֻ qibbūṣ – ù (i.e. the shorter 'u' sound, like in the word 'null')
    בֹ ḥōlam – ō (i.e. the heavier 'o' sound, like in the word 'mole')

    בְ šəwā – pronunciation is based on letters that come AFTER it. if the letters after it:

    1. if the letter coming after the šəwā is a guttural (ālêf, 'āyīn, hē, ḥēṯ ḫāf), then the letter with the vowel of šəwā will follow the guttural letter's vowel. except the pronunciation of the šəwā vowel will be the shorter form of the vowel on the letter coming right after the šəwā.

    e.g. לְעֶבֶד (for a servant) is pronounced as לֱעֶבֶד

    2. if the letter coming after the šəwā is NOT a guttural, then the šəwā is pronounced with a short 'ah' sound (i.e. à).

    e.g. בְּבַּיִת (in a house) is pronounced as בֲּבַּיִת


    1. the Hebrew definitive article (ה) that comes before almost all letters is ALWAYS pronounced with a paṯāḥ and the letter coming after it will ALWAYS experience a gemination (i.e. dāġêš-ḥāzaq). EXCEPT when it comes before a guttural letter, when that happens, it is ALWAYS pronounced with a qāmêṣ. except when the guttural letter is either ח or ע with a qāmêṣ under it. when that is the case, the definitive article would have to be pronounced with a sêġōl vowel.

    e.g. המלך (the king) pronounced as ְהַמֶּלֶך
    e.g. האלה (the oak) pronounced as הָאַלָּה
    e.g. החכם (the wise man) pronounced as הֶחָכָם

    2. that leads us to the prepositions of ל and ב. if the word is a definite noun and these prepositions are added to them, you won't see the definitive article (ה) acting as prefix to the word anymore. this is because when you add a preposition to a definite noun (in Hebrew) the definitive article gets omitted (despite grammatically still being there). if this is the case, then the reader would have to pronounce the šəwā with the pronunciation of the definitive article.

    e.g. לְהַמֶּלֶך (for the king) is written and pronounced as לַמֶּלֶך.

  3. I am from Eritrea n I lecture Biblical Hebrew. N when I went to Israel and tried to learn the modern Hebrew, it was amazing how much of it is distorted or assimilated to European accents. Cos u guys are European than Semitic in ur pronunciation.
    I love Israel.

  4. Dear sister! Do you have a video talking about the ancient Hebrew name of God mainly (LORD) that we find in the Old Testament ?

    in short what is the ancient name of the word 'LORD' we find in the Old testament?

    pls share a link if you have made a video on that. God bless


  6. I am torn now because I want to study Torah as well as help my mother reconnect with her heritage while she's young enough to make the trip to Israel. I imagine there's a story behind how Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews learned to communicate after millenia apart.

  7. This was really interesting, when was i that modern Hebrew become the language of Israel? as wasn't Yiddish the earlier language? Also the text which s used is it read right to left?

  8. I am native Israeli guy and I do NOT agree with you at all !! I can't forget how when I was 7yo when I got in school the bible. only 1 year in my life knowing read Hebrew and still I was able to read all genesis easily!! old and modern Hebrew are the same. In the modern there are more words

  9. So much bullshit! anochi and ani is also used and surley knowing in modern hebrew. למה סתם להטעות גברת מורה? ממש מקומם

  10. Modern Hebrew is more similar to ancient Hebrew than Italian is to Latin. If you want two different languages with the same name, compare modern English and Old English.

  11. That goes to show that Hebrew is not their tongue. Language gets passed down from parents. It seems to me that Yiddish is their tongue and they are trying to force themselves to be Hebrews, or the children of Jacob. Now also keep in mind that the ancient Israelites translated their Bible to many languages that surrounded them. Findings like the Dead Sea Scrolls does NOT mean that that was their language. Funny how there are many impostors in this world. Very sad…

  12. If off their was no need for modern Hebrew when we already had Biblical Hebrew. You only create something new when you want to change something. if it ain't broke why fix it. Secondly, Hebrew is the original language everyone spoke at one time in the beginning of time and it is not a religion it is a way of life and thirdly, we are to stay away from philosophy according to yahusha. And David never had a 6 pointed star or to represent Israel with it. Read the scriptures more closely

  13. The change from אנכי to אני had nothing to do with any European influence. אנכי appears 359 times in the biblical corpus, while 874 times. אני is certainly a biblical form.

  14. But in ancient hebrew there is no point or fullstops. Explain from adamic hebrew language (Pettography) to ancient hebrew language

  15. Very interesting! I have learnt Biblical Hebrew and Greek and right now I am writing an essay about Old English. I have been asked to argue that Old and Present-Day English is not the same language and this gives som really nice ideas on what to look up, as they have undergone many of the same changes

  16. Have to pipe in here — חשמל is not a new word. It’s an old word (I believe first appearing in the prophets) that has received a new meaning. No one knows what it meant in the biblical times, but people postulate that is meant an unexplained natural phenomenon. So in the modern times it was given the new meaning — electricity. Also, biblical and modern hebrew are not as different as this clip makes it seem. I have never formally studied Biblical Hebrew, but being a fluent speaker of modern hebrew I can read the Bible with no difficulty whatsoever. Yes, perhaps the finest nuance is very occasionally lost, but 99.9% of what’s written there is completely understandable, though a lot of it sounds fairly weird. And yes, the past tense is different.

  17. They r not very different and its not so difficult to understand . The main diderence is changing future to past and v.v. but the words r the same.

  18. It would be better if Israel spoke on ancient hebrew from middle east Not a changed one which Sounds like with a russian accent

  19. I don't know how accurate it is to say that modern Hebrew speakers "cannot easily read the bible". First off, it's very easy for any hebrew speaker to READ the bible, in the sense of pronouncing the words as written. As for understanding, while it is different to modern hebrew in several aspects, it is still material all kids learn starting first grade in school, so it's obviously not very complicated for native speakers.

  20. Very true. If you try coming to Israel and speak using phrases from the torah/ tanack to communicate with people in everyday life, people will give you very strange looks and in most cases will not speak back or shrug their shoulders without understanding.

    Hebrew is very complex and it is more helpful to learn both the biblical and modern hebrew if you began only learning the Torah, nevim, ketuvim, or apostolic writings (the bible – all hebrew original writings).

    Also learn the actual everyday language. It is different from English and read right to left.

    HebrewPOD 101 is a great place to learn modern hebrew and start in contemporary hebrew literature studies, although I think they should expand it morebin that area.

    Trust me, in the years to come if you study both biblical and modern hebrew: over time you will tell the difference very well. It just takes some dedication.

  21. What about "tagen alai" protect me, and hashem!? Heloim, are those old or new biblical words!? תודה

  22. These devils took over everything even our language! Not realizing we are still here fighting to take back our RIGHTFUL place in a evil land of people who HATE us! You people will soon pay!

  23. I think you are exaggerating the differences. When my son was in the second grade we we're living in Israel. His first Bible reading book was call "bereshit sheli" (my Genesis) and on every page it had the words that a second grader would not understand with an explanation. It turns out that there are only a few words every chapter that he would need help with.

  24. The hebrew speakers ignore that the modern Hebrew is a reinvented and ressucited language, it's a patchwork of different languages (Arabic, dialectal Arabic, Aramaic, old hebrew, Yiddish, Greek, ladino, European languages) and this mix of languages is spoken with a harsh east european accent where the semetic letters, unpronouced by the jews of Europe are deleted and abolished, and with fixed voyels like european languages in difference with the semitic triliteral language. The linguists who reinvented the Hebrew and fixed its rules an pronouciation were all europeans. Even the poor oriental Jewish lost their own semitic pronouciation because of schools and TV. Today, after 3 generations, they all speak a pseudo hebrew with a germanic accent.

  25. Old hebrew is like the roman coliseum…and the modern hebrew is like a decor of coliseum in a peplum movie….it looks like the coliseum but it is not.

  26. Modern Hebrew is the youngest language on the planet. Nobody speaks ancient Hebrew. It’s a dead language.

  27. Letter of Aristeas, Chapter 1:15-16
    15. "'They need to be translated,' answered Demetrius, 'for in the country of the Jews they use a particular alphabet (just as the Egyptians, too, have a particular form of letters) and speak a particular dialect.
    16. They are supposed to use the Syriac tongue, but this is not the case; their language is quite different.'"

    Modern Hebrew is not Hebrew. It's high time we woke up!

  28. The ending is totally wrong. An ancient Hebrew speaker would be able to converse with a modern one, not very fluently, but still they would understand each other to a good degree.
    And more annoying is the fact that all Israelis are able to understand a lot of the bible, there are many sentences which are exactly the same.
    Very misleading to people who want to learn biblical Hebrew. Modern Hebrew would help them more than modern English would help them learn Shakespearean English.

  29. as a Christian, i love, God, the Bible, the Hebrews its nation, as the Bible n Lord Jesus teaches us.i,d love to be able to read n write your language. God bless .

  30. So, to understand the Scriptures, everybody needs to take classical Hebrew, that includes everybody who does not know classical Hebrew? Very interesting! So, I am not waisting my time by taking ancient Hebrew!!

  31. Interesting. So how do we even know of the phonetic pronunciation of any of these Hebrew words since Hebrew had been extinct till the 1880s When Eliezer Ben-Yehuda came along @ 1:20

  32. Hi,madam.I am Michael from india.Govt teacher.can you suggest a best book Hebrew learning through English

  33. I'm learning Biblical Hebrew so I can understand the Bible more, but I do want to go to Israel one day. Is it pretty easy to learn modern Hebrew after I've learned Biblical Hebrew?

  34. Achoty thank you ,but i want to learn the Ancient Hebrew and its says that theres no vowel in it but accepted to be use is letter "A"only .thank you..

  35. Please how do you say "You know God", " he knows God" or "He who has intimate relationship with God" in Hebrew in the context of naming someone?Regards

  36. This is just not accurate.
    I read the Tanakh as well as the News in Hebrew and there are a few unknown words at all.

  37. Hebrew was a separate language already in the 15th century BCE. The opinion that it only emerged in the 10th century BCE is obsolete and disproved.
    Secondly, some forms of more or less broken Hebrew were used since the Middle Ages up to the late 19th century between Jews of separate faraway diasporas in their encounters. Eliezer ben Yehudah's efforts made this communication much easier, but he did not enable this sort of communication in Hebrew from scratch.

  38. Biblical Hebrew uses both "Anokhi" (אנכי) and "Ani" (Ani) for the word "I". Modern Hebrew has only "Ani" for it.
    The word "Ḥashmal" already exists in ancient Hebrew, though it does not mean electricity, of course.

    You should redo this clip, upload the amended version and delete this pathetic misleading clip.

  39. Star of David has nothing to do with Hebrew, it's a Judaism symbol. Judaism is a false religion like Christianity. There's so many differences I doubt this lady can name them. Pictograms were translated to Paleo Hebrew. New words actually had to be created to write the TaNaK. Modern Hebrew is a propaganda for Judaism.

  40. Kp לעומת אספקת השומן של סוברנר

    KpA מול הבית הכחול בדרום קוריאה

    אני הכי שונאת את המוסלמים ואת הדרומיים

    שמי איוון 1110

    אני רוצה להקדים את אספקת השומן שלהם ולברוח עם בעל בריתם של דרום קוריאה

    אני אשתמש פעם ב- Kp כנשק נגד המוסלמים

    ואז פעמיים אגרום לדרום קוריאה לברוח עם KPA וסין

    דרומיים ימותו בסוף עם המוסלמים

    לפני שנים רבות, עוד לפני מלחמת האזרחים, נהגה אמו של הדרום להתגנב בלילות בחוות הכותנה כדי להעניק עבודות לעבודה, שנים רבות אחר כך המנהיגה הדמוקרטית הדרומית היא מנהיג שחור-מוסלמי אובמה.

    קללת הניגר המוסלמית המזוינת נפלה על כל הגזע שלהם

    עכשיו הם מפסידים מלחמת עולם עם המוסלמים והכושים כנגד היהודים.

    עכשיו בכל פעם שאני לוקח את היהודים נגד המוסלמים והדרום

    במלחמת עולם גרעינית על ידי התעשיות ועל ידי המירוץ

    מדוע הם זקוקים לבחור שחור מוסלמי של ברק חוסין – האם הוא גזע חוצפן – גזע מטופש

    מנהיג הקונפדרציה השחור המוסלמי פופולרי עוד יותר במפלגתם הדרומית אפילו יותר מאשר הילרי קלינטון סוטנר.

    omg – מה מנת המשכל שלהם – האם אני טיפש או שהם טיפשים

    אני אוהב יותר יהודים מאשר את המוסלמים

    אז אמרתי – מדוע שלא תשימו טורבן מעל הראש – הדרומיים – מזדיינות אימהות טיפשות.

    למה שלא תשים טורבן קונפדרציה – תכינו דגל עם הדגל שלכם – ותשימו קצת צבע שחור על הפנים.

    אתה תיראה ממש כמו המנהיג שלך – ותהיה כמו – אני גאה להיות קונפדרציה.

    אני שונא אותך ואת כל הגזע שלך –

    אם אני אי פעם אומר את זה – זה אומר שכל הגזע שלך יאבד מלחמת עולם – חזיר מטופש כמו זיונים של אמא –

    כזו שאין לה כתובת בצפון ודרום – כזו שאין לה עקרונות או מוסר מוסרי כלשהו

    זה אתה אמא ​​זונה בן זונה

    זו אמא שלך אישה שחורה דמוקרטית דרום – היא אשת הקונגרס שלך
    מדוע הם זקוקים לבחור שחור מוסלמי של ברק חוסין – האם הוא גזע חוצפן – גזע מטופש

    מנהיג הקונפדרציה השחור המוסלמי פופולרי עוד יותר במפלגתם הדרומית אפילו יותר מאשר הילרי קלינטון סוטנר.

    ושם את זה גם על ראשך – אני אביא אותך למלחמת עולם – עם ראשי נפץ גרעיניים של ק.פ. – בגלל זה אני שם את כל החרא הזה מעל הראש.

    אברהם לינקולן היה הנשיא הרפובליקני הראשון והיה ראש צבא האיחוד 1110.
    גנרל לי לעומת זאת – לאחר שהפסיד את המלחמה כראש צבא הקונפדרציה – הצטרף למפלגה הדמוקרטית. כל הדמוקרטים הדרומיים היו בעלי כל חוות הכותנה.

    ג'ורג 'וושינגטון היה רפובליקני – הוא האמין בשוויון זכויות ורצה לשחרר את העבדים.
    הדמוקרטים הדרומיים רצו להיפרד מג'ורג 'וושינגטון ולהצטרף למעילים האדומים – הבריטים במלחמה המהפכנית – כאשר ביטול העבדות הוצע על ידי מנהיג המהפכה הגדול – ג'ורג' וושינגטון.
    למה? כי אפילו אז אז היו הדמוקרטים הדרומיים מחוות כותנה בדרום.

    דבר נוסף שרציתי לספר לך זה – אני לא נגד הבריטים כשאמרתי שהדרמוקרטים הדרומיים מנסים להצטרף למעילים האדומים – אפילו ג'ורג 'וושינגטון היה חלק מהצי המלכותי 1110. הדמוקרטים הדרומיים הם רק בגידות לב. זה נובע מכך שאין לך מוסר מוסרי שאתה יודע – היום תראו מה קרה להם – מוסלמים ושחורים שולטים במפלגתם – הם מפסידים מלחמת עולם גרעינית נגד היהודים.

    כל המרוץ של אמם רץ ברווחה ומדפסת הכסף עם השחורים והמקסיקנים. והדבר הגרוע ביותר הוא – אנשים אחרים תמיד יתבעו את שטח השטח שלהם עליהם בדרום – בגלל העובדה שהם חסרים תכונות של התעשייה – במילים אחרות אין תעשיות, מעולם לא בנו תעשיות בדרום.

    מאז שאברהם לינקולן בנה תעשיות בצפון ומאז שהבריטים סיפקו נשק בדרום – עד היום אין תעשיות בדרום.

    תעשיות קאנטרי הן כס המלוכה שלה – אף אחד לא יכול לנצח במלחמת עולם בלי תעשיות – או שנגמר להם עלויות מלחמה או אספקה.

    והיזהרו – הם ישקרו בשקר ויגידו לכם שהם נדדו בצפון – קודם כל כל הגזע שלהם גרים בדרום עם השחורים והמקסיקנים עד היום – שם הם היו בבעלות על חוות הכותנה – יש לי כתובות של הגזע מאת השטחים של המדינות – ויש לי כתובות של כל האספקה ​​הזרה שלהם בעלי ברית זרים ומפעלים זרים – בעל בריתם של דרום קוריאה בורח עם סין וצפון קוריאה – אתה לא רואה בית כחול – הדמוקרט הדרומי יצא למלחמה נגד סין יפן וצפון קוריאה עד שהפסידו נגד צפון וייטנאם. זה היה גם הקרב האחרון שלהם – הנחתי את האספקה ​​והצינורות של אמם על הקו – במדינות כמו מלזיה סינגפור בנגקוק וקטאר איחוד האמירויות הערביות וסעודיה – שם בכל פעם שיהודים וצפון קוריאה תמיד ינצחו עליהם ואת תשתיות השיווק שלהם.

    בריתה של דרום קוריאה לא בורחת רק עם סין וצפון קוריאה – היא בורחת ישירות עם איראן – עם תעשיות הספנות שלה – יונדאי – היא מתחילה לממן את תוכנית הגרעין של איראן – בעיקר כדי

  41. This is historically wrong: you are using ancient pagan symbol called star of David referring to BC times. King David never ever used this pagan symbol, David was a Hebrew, not a Jew. This symbol was authorized after Babylonian captivity and is part of a new religion called Judaism and was not given through Moses.

  42. Does the Biblical or Classical Hebrews have any additional or less characters than the Modern Hebrew Alef-Beit
    Also can you speak to some of your references so that I can see some of them?
    Last but not least, How doe I spell Beautiful in Hebrew, because you are very beautiful! Maganda = Tagalog, Falleg = Icelandic, and you have a very smooth voice that I enjoy listening to, … I know that teaching and posting to these many opinions much challenge your patience and I do want to say that I don't give a rat's ass about what the haters say… I am very grateful for your contributions… as well as Hebrewpod101 for putting this information on your channel at ZERO Cost!!! God bless and I look forward to learning more from you!!! You are an excellent teacher!!! Kris

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