Lesson 3.2: Nouns (Cont’d)

Blessing to God before study

(IMPORTANT: if you are not yet familiar with how we transcribe Hebrew sounds and words, you can download (or read online) the reference guide.)



In this lesson, we will encounter four more nouns. They are pronounced and repeated in the following recording.

NOTE: please take some time to repeat these 4 words. It will help cement the sound of each in your mind.

(Remember: Hebrew is read from Left to Right)

/e·chad/ /sham·ma·yeem/ /e·rev/ /vo·qer/[1]emphasize the bolded syllable

Three of the words you just heard occur in the following verse. Can you hear them?

Which of these four nouns do you hear in these next 2 verses?

In this next verse, you will hear two of the four nouns. What are they?

Listen for shammayeem in the following 3 verses:

The next 5 readings share a common phrase. Listen and try to repeat the common phrase.


Here now are the spellings and pronunciations of the four new nouns. In these new words, you will encounter four new Hebrew consonants (colored red).

שָּׁמַיִם /sham·ma·yeem/

עֶרֶב /e·rev/

בֹקֶר  (also, בוֹקֶר) /vo·qer/[2]Note the dot above the Beyt in the word בֹקֶר. It’s just a shorthand way of writing the vowel  the Cholem Vav, וֹ. Thus, any word written with the Cholem Vav can be written with just … Continue reading

אֶחָד /e·chad/

The New Hebrew consonants introduced in this lesson are

  1. Shin שׁ (/shin/)  makes the  /sh/. Note the dot above the right arm. It’s part of the letter, not a vowel pointing.
  2. Qaf ק (/qaf/) – makes the hard /Q/ sound (like ‘K’). In Hebrew, there is no /cue/ sound as in /queen/. Thus Qaf is always pronounced as a hard /K/.
  3. Chet ח (/chet/) – makes the /ch/ sound as in ‘Bach’. In Hebrew there is no /ch/ sound as in cherry. This sound is difficult for native English speakers, especially when it begins a word. Don’t worry, just keep at it.
  4. Dalat ד (/da·lawt/) – makes the /D/ sound as in Dog.

Read and pronounce the following syllables

אֵי אִי אַי אוֹ יוּ
שֵׁי שִׁי שַׁי שׁוּ שׁוּ
קֵי קִי קָי קוֹ קוּ
חֵי חִי חַי חוֹ חוּ
דֵי דִי דָי דוֹ דו

Now, here are a list of names of some the major characters in the Bible. Practice sounding out their pronunciations and keep in mind as you practice pronouncing these names that Hebrew pronunciations are often quite different than their English counterparts.  For example, the Hebrew spelling of Eve’s name  is pronounced /chav·vah/ and Egypt’s name is pronounced /mitz·rael/. This is important because when you are translating for an English reader, you should use the English representation of the Hebrew name, even though the two are often wildly different.

Bible Names (read and pronounce from right-to-left) as found in the Bible:

דַוִד דְּבֹרָה רִבְקָה אָדָם חַוָּה קַיִן יִצְחָק יַעֲקֹב מֹשֶׁה 

answers[3]David, Deborah, Rebbekah, Adam, Eve, Cain, Isaac, Jacob, Moses

Just for fun. Who are these two famous biblical couples?

דַוִד וַבַּת־שֶׁבַע answer[4]David and Bathsheba – /da·veed/ and /bat-she·va/

אָדָם וָחַוָּה answer[5]Adam and Eve – /a·dam and /chav·vah/) Read In the verses that follow, read each one carefully until you can identify all the words (including preposition, articles, the dom, etc.,). In this … Continue reading: The usage of shammayim falls into two broad categories – (1) the skies and (2) the abode of God (heaven). Under the first category, skies include all that is above the earth, and any given passage may include all or merely a part of the whole. the skies and the earth together constitute the universe (Gen 1:1). They yield rain (Gen 8:2), snow (Isa 55:10), frost (Job 38:29), fire (2Kings 1:10), dew ( Deut 33:13), and thunder (1Sam 2:10). They hold the sun, moon, planets, and stars (Gen 1:14; Gen 15:5; Isa 14:12; Amos 5:26). Zechariah 2:6 speaks of the four winds of the skies, and Psa 135:7 says that God brings forth the wind from his storehouses.

As heaven,  the abode of God (Deut 26:15; 1Kings 8:30), it is from there that He reaches down to do his will on earth. As the heavens are infinitely high above the earth, so are God’s thoughts and ways infinitely above man’s ability to comprehend (Isa 55:8-9). God is in sovereign control (Psa 2:4). He is able to reach out in judgment (Gen 19:24.) and in salvation alike (Psa 57:3; Deut 33:26). Jeremiah 23:24 states that God fills heaven and earth, and Solomon recognizes that all of heaven and the highest heavens themselves (“heaven of heavens”) cannot contain the Almighty God. As vast as the heavens are, they are merely part of God’s creation, and he stands above it all. Therefore Solomon has no illusions that God has need of his temple or that it can contain him. Yet God has graciously condescended to dwell there and to be approached by sinful man. Isaiah states (Isa 57:15) that though God dwells in the high and lofty place, he will also dwell with those of a contrite and humble spirit.

עֶרֶב – evening, sunset, nightfall[6]Translation from Harris, et al, ref 1689b: This word is found 131 times in the OT. The phrase “there was an evening and there was a morning” occurs six times in the creation narrative (Gen 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31), delimiting the six days of divine creative activity. This phrase would indicate that in ancient Israel a day began with sunrise. Some have felt this at variance with the Jewish practice of regarding sunset as the beginning of the next day. Cassuto, after dealing with the biblical data and the Jewish custom, concludes that there was “only one system of computing time: the day is considered to begin in the morning; but in regard to the festivals and appointed times, the Torah ordains that they shall be observed also on the night of the preceding day” (U. Cassuto, Genesis, I, p. 29 [his emphasis]). This judgment appears vindicated in the employment of ±erev in Levitical legislation respecting uncleanness. One was considered unclean because of certain acts “until the evening” (Lev 11:24, plus thirty times). That is, one was unclean for the duration of the day.

בֹקֶר – morning, dawn, daybreak[7]Translation from Harris, et al, ref 274c: This word denotes the breaking through of the daylight and thus dawn or more usually morning. This noun is peculiar to Hebrew

אֶחָד – single, one, same, first, each, once[8]Translation from Harris, et al, ref 061.0: this word occurs 960 times as a noun, adjective, or adverb, as a cardinal or ordinal number, often used in a distributive sense. It is closely identified with the notion of “to be united” – especially in connection with the “first day” of the month (Gen 8:13). It stresses unity while recognizing diversity within that oneness.

It can also refer to a certain individual (Jud 13:2) or a single blessing (Gen 27:38). Solomon alone was chosen by the Lord (1Chr 29:1). The notion of uniqueness is also found in 2Sam 7:23 and Ezek 33:24 (for this verse with reference to God, see below). The phrase “in a single day” can refer to the suddenness of judgment ( Isa 10:17; Isa 47:9) or blessing (Isa 66:8).


Translate the following phrases:

   answer[9]a-first day or a-day one  יוֹם אֶחָד

answer[10]the-evening and-a-morning, day oneהַעֶרֶב וָבוֹקֶר יוֹם אֶחָד

answer[11]God the-skies and-dom the-earthאֱלֹהִים אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ

אֵלֶּה תוֹלְדוֹת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ בְּהִבָּרְאָם בְּיוֹם עֲשׂוֹת יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים אֶרֶץ וְשָׁמָיִם

answer[12]the-skies and-the-land; earth and-skies

Below are five verses with which you’ve been working all along. The words in red are those to which you have now been exposed and that you should be able to recognize and read. After the next section (translation) you should be able to figure out what 5 verses this text represents.

Finally, translate this passage into English leaving “[  ]” for each word that you do not yet know. For example, here are the first two verses translated accordingly:

In [  ] [  ] [ ] [  ] the skies and the land. And the land [  ] [  ] and [  ] and [  ] over [  ] [  ] and [  ] [ ][  ] over [  ] the [  ].

Do this for the rest of the verses.

בּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֶלוֹהִים אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ·  וְהָאָרֶץ הָיְתָה תֹהוּ וָבֹהוּ וְחֹשֶׁךְ עַל־פְּנֵי תְה֑וֹם וְרוּחַ אֶלוֹהִים מְרַחֶפֶת עַל־פְּנֵי הַמָּיִם·  וַיֹּאמֶר אֶלוֹהִים יְהִי א֑וֹר וַיְהִי־אוֹר·  וַיַּרְא אֶלוֹהִים אֶת־הָאוֹר כִּי־ט֑וֹב וַיַּבְדֵּל אֶלוֹהִים בֵּין הָאוֹר וּבֵין הַחֹשֶׁךְ· וַיִּקְרָא אֶלוֹהִים לָאוֹר יוֹם וְלַחֹשֶׁךְ קָרָא לָ֑יְלָה וַיְהִי־עֶרֶב וַיְהִי־בֹקֶר יוֹם אֶחָד