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Topics Ancient Hebrew Alphabet


By Jeff A. Benner


Ancient Name: Hhets
Pictograph: Wall
Meanings: Outside, Divide Half
Sound: Hh

History & Reconstruction

The ancient pictograph is a picture of a tent wall. The meanings of this letter are "outside," as the function of the wall is to protect the occupants from the elements, half, as the wall in the middle of the tent divides the tent into the male and female sections, and secular, as something that is outside.

The Modern Hebrew name for this letter is hhet meaning a string. A very similar Hebrew word is hhets, which means a wall and is most likely the original name for this letter. The sound of the letter, in ancient and modern times, is a guttural "hh" (as in the "ch" in the name Bach).

The early Semitic pictograph evolved into in the Middle Semitic script by being rotated 90 degrees. This letter continued to evolve into in the Late Semitic script. The Middle Semitic script is the origin of the Greek and Roman H. The late Semitic script became the Modern Hebrew ח. The Middle Semitic form of this letter became the number 8.

Semitic Script Charts

Ancient Hebrew Alphabet and Language

Related Pages by Jeff A. Benner

TheThe Ancient Pictographic Alphabet (Article)
The original Hebrew alphabet was written with pictures that reveal insights into Hebrew words.

TheThe Paleo-Hebrew Alphabet (Article)
The relationship between the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet and the Samaritan alphabet.

SabbathSabbath in Ancient Hebrew (Video)
Each letter in the Hebrew alphabet was originally a picture with meaning. In this video we will examine the letters in the Hebrew word shabbat.