Hebrew Exegesis

OT 2G03

This course follows Introductory Biblical Hebrew. Its goal is to improve students’ ability to read and interpret texts beyond the level of introductory grammar. Building on previous course work, students will deepen their understanding of the language of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament in the areas of grammar, syntax, and discourse. This in turn will enhance students’ understanding of the text in its historical, canonical, and theological context, as well as their ability to interpret and apply the text for people today. The primary emphasis will be on reading, translating, and exegeting biblical texts, although further lessons in more advanced grammar will be included. In order to achieve these goals, this course will use selected passages from the book of Genesis. Students may choose a passage from anywhere in the OT for their translation paper, however.

Note that this course does not include extensive formal lectures, but it does use short video lectures based on the grammar text as well as other supplemental resources. It consists of guided individual learning.

N.B.: The study of Hebrew is challenging but is very rewarding for those who persevere. Language study normally requires more time than content courses. You should plan on spending several hours every day listening to lectures, completing assignments, and reviewing. Do not set the course aside for extended periods. Particularly since this is an intensive summer course, it is necessary to keep up with the work. The secret of success is to keep to a regular schedule of study, to complete your assignments carefully and on time, and to review what you have learned on a consistent basis.


  • To expand knowledge of Hebrew beyond the basic vocabulary acquired in Introductory Hebrew, to include all words occurring more than 50 times
  • To expand understanding of matters of morphology, syntax, and discourse
  • To understand some contemporary issues in Hebrew language study which affect translation and interpretation
  • To understand basic issues in the text critical analysis of the Hebrew Bible


  • To embrace the value of understanding the original language in exegeting the biblical text
  • To grow in appreciation of the aesthetic value of Hebrew literature
  • To deepen one’s relationship with God through interacting with Scripture


  • To develop expertise in the use of intermediate and advanced grammars and lexicons in translating Hebrew texts
  • To further develop skill in translating and exegeting texts from the Hebrew Scriptures
  • To exegete a narrative passage of biblical Hebrew with attention to translation and the meaning of the passage