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Hebrew for Christians
8.6  Unit Eight Summary

Unit Eight Summary -

The Least you should know...

After studying Unit Eight, you should have mastered the following material:

  1. General Properties of Hebrew Numbers
    In Unit 8.1 you learned that a number is a sort of adjective that defines the quality of quantity. In Hebrew, there are mainly two kinds of numbers:
    1. Cardinal Numbers tell how many things there are (in a set), for example, one, two, three, and so on.
    2. Ordinal Numbers tell the order or priority of elements in a series, for example, first, second, third, and so on.

    In Hebrew, both types of numbers have their own gender, masculine and feminine. This means that you will need to be familiar with two sets of numbers, one set that modifies masculine nouns and the other that modifies feminine nouns. Like other adjectives, then, the gender of the number must agree with the noun it modifies.

    Note: A numeral is a symbolic representation of a number. Biblical Hebrew does not use any Arabic numerals in the modern sense but instead uses the letters of the Hebrew alphabet to express quantities. Often distinct words are used to describe larger numbers, such as ma'ah for 100 and elef for 1,000 (in modern Ivrit, however, Arabic numerals are used in everyday writing).

  1. Letters as Numbers
    In Unit 8.2 you learned that in some cases, especially in dates and in Bible references, Hebrew letters can function as numbers. For example, Aleph can stand for the number 1, Bet for 2, and so on.

    You also learned how to use the Geresh/Gerashayim to read Hebrew dates and understand various Scripture references.

  2. Hebrew Cardinal Numbers
    In Unit 8.3 you learned that a cardinal number (mispar) tells how many things there are (in a set), for example, one, two, three, and so on. These are the numbers (misparim) we use for regular counting. After studying this unit, you should be able to identify any Hebrew number from zero to one million.

  3. Hebrew Ordinal Numbers
    In Unit 8.4 you learned that Ordinal numbers tell the "order" or priority of elements in a series, for example, first, second, third, and so on. Ordinal numbers have two properties that you will need to know:
    1. Ordinals take both masculine and feminine forms. Masculine numbers modify masculine nouns, and feminine numbers modify feminine nouns.
    2. Ordinal numbers function as attributive adjectives, which means they follow the noun they modify and agree in gender, number, and definiteness.
  4. Hebrew Gematria
    In Unit 8.5 you learned that Gematria is a type of numerological study that may be defined as one of more systems for calculating the numerical equivalence of letters, words, and phrases in a particular Hebrew text. These systems are used for the purpose of gaining insight into interrelating concepts and for finding correspondences between words and concepts.

    You learned that there are several methods to calculate the numerical value for individual words and phrases, and when converted to a number, words/phrases can then be compared to other words/phrases and similarities drawn.

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