Jonah Comic

Jonah
יוֹנָה

Now in HTML5!
Goal: To read Jonah in Hebrew. I've decided to organize my web site around the book of Jonah because it's a great place to begin learning Hebrew. It's a short book of only four chapters (3 narrative and 1 poetry). It has dramatic scenes, a hanging ending, and word plays that you'll only see in Hebrew. With this interactive comic, you can not only see the words and follow the action in the images, but you can hear the Hebrew read aloud and click any speech bubble to get a translation. Several translations are already included and I can add more anytime. If your language isn't there, feel free to contact me and we'll see what we can do to add it.

Reading

Reading
קֹרְאִים

*** COMING SOON ***

Step 1: Learn to "read". By this I mean learn to make the correct sounds when looking at the strange squiggles on the page. Hebrew letters are completely different from almost all other languages (except for a few ancient languages like Aramaic and to some extent Syriac and Arabic). Vowels are written as "points": below, inside, and above the letters. Some letters can represent either consonants or vowels, and the whole thing runs right to left? Sound daunting? Well, it's not actually that bad and these exercises are designed to quickly and painlessly get you up to speed reading Hebrew syllables and pretty soon Hebrew words. Give it a try. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Aleph Bet

Aleph-Bet
א-ב

*** COMING SOON ***

Step 2: Learn the letter names. This is an easy step and you can actually do this at any time. These are your Hebrew A,B,C's - the Aleph-Bet. You need this so you can refer to the letters when communicating with others and when you're reading about Hebrew, like in a Hebrew textbook. It's also handy for looking up words in a dictionary.

In this section you'll learn the Aleph-Bet song sung by my wife, Michelle. Mp3 version is available for download as well.

Vocabulary Flashcards

Vocabulary
דְּבָרִים

*** COMING SOON ***

Step 3: Learn some vocabulary. Learn the most common words by rote. Learn the words that are in Jonah, that way you can read a genuine Biblical Hebrew text and begin to see how the language works. Language is more than words, of course, but it's hardly less than words. Without words you can't do anything.

Bryan Rocine, the author of a Hebrew textbook with, of all things, a focus on discourse analysis (on the other end of the spectrum from words) has this to say about vocabulary: “Your limited vocabulary is probably the most severe limitation on your ability to read the Hebrew Bible, so building your vocabulary is probably the most efficient single effort you can make…” (p. 391 of Learning Biblical Hebrew). In my experience I'd say this is bang on. Start learning your words!

Hebrew Lectures

Grammar
דִקְדוּק

*** COMING SOON ***

Step 4: Learn some grammar. Here you'll start to learn how the words work together to form sentences which ultimately carry a message. You don't need tons of grammar, and the more you can learn intuitively from the biblical text the better, but it is very helpful to have some formal instruction in the "rules of the language" if you plan to make efficient progress.

In this section you'll find 35 hours of audio/visual lectures. Grammar can be abstract with lots of unfamiliar terms describing aspects of language that we normally simply use rather than analyze. In these lectures I try to explain everything assuming no knowledge of grammatical terms. They start at the very beginning with the letter shapes and names, and progress up to detailed discussion of Hebrew verb forms. Not everything is equally important, nor necessary right away, and some is best treated as reference to be accessed as needed.

Verb Flashcards

Verbs
פֹּעֲלִים

*** COMING SOON ***

Step 5: Focus on verbs. Verbs are the heart of any utterance. Even sentences without verbs have some sort of implied verb. Verbs are where the "action" is and there is a lot packed into a verb - especially perhaps Hebrew verbs. Did you know Hebrew has four you's: you, y'all and then two more for strictly feminine addressees? Y'all will find this, and much more, embedded in Hebrew verbs.

This section has exercises to help with those verb forms discussed in step 4 and, more importantly continually encountered in the biblical texts we're trying to read.

Hebrew Reading Group

Reading Group
קְהַל הַקֹּרְאִים

All are welcome to join our Live Hebrew Reading Group. Reading level is beginner-intermediate. We meet once a week in a virtual world, equipped with voice chat, for a hour and a half of Hebrew Bible reading practice. Discussion ranges from vocabulary and verb forms to literary structure, textual criticism (occassionally), and theology. We will also often examine the passage from the perspective of the whole Christian canon (NT as well as OT). The goal is to inform the head as well as the heart by listening carefully to the sacred text and to one another. Contact me for further information.

Current meetings: Friday morning 7:30-9 AM EST (North America)

Calendar
יוֹם, חֹדֶשׁ, שָׁנָה

Check our Reading Schedule above to see what we're reading. If it's too small to see, click the "Google Calendar" link in the bottom right corner to get a larger version.

About Me מִי אָנֹכִי

I started this web site back in 2004. At the time I was on staff at Briercrest College and Seminary in Caronport, Saskatchewan, and we needed a distance learning option for non-resident seminary students who had a Biblical Hebrew requirement in their program. Most of the seminary courses were one week modulars but that obviously wasn't going to work for a language course. Long story short, I ended up making a deal with the school where they would provide some resources (computer hardware and multimedia software) and I would make a series of first year Hebrew lectures on my own time, that I would then own, but we would also use in the Briercrest distance Hebrew course. The arrangement worked out well. Briercrest got a course and I got a web site. In 2011 we moved to rural Quebec to pastor a small bilingual Baptist church, though I still instruct the distance Hebrew course for Briercrest.

Enjoy the web site. :)
שָׁלוֹם

Charles Grebe, M.A. in Theological Studies (OT)
Maniwaki, Québec
Thesis: Participant Reference In The Saul Narratives: 1 Samuel 9-31

Our Family
מִשְׁפַּחְתֵּנוּ

Christmas 2016

Mother's Day 2017

וְהָיָ֣ה׀ בְּאַחֲרִ֣ית הַיָּמִ֗ים נָכ֙וֹן יִֽהְיֶ֜ה הַ֤ר בֵּית־יְהוָה֙ בְּרֹ֣אשׁ הֶהָרִ֔ים וְנִשָּׂ֖א מִגְּבָע֑וֹת וְנָהֲר֥וּ אֵלָ֖יו כָּל־הַגּוֹיִֽם׃ וְֽהָלְכ֞וּ עַמִּ֣ים רַבִּ֗ים וְאָמְרוּ֙ לְכ֣וּ׀ וְנַעֲלֶ֣ה אֶל־הַר־יְהוָ֗ה אֶל־בֵּית֙ אֱלֹהֵ֣י יַעֲקֹ֔ב וְיֹרֵ֙נוּ֙ מִדְּרָכָ֔יו וְנֵלְכָ֖ה בְּאֹרְחֹתָ֑יו כִּ֤י מִצִּיּוֹן֙ תֵּצֵ֣א תוֹרָ֔ה וּדְבַר־יְהוָ֖ה מִירוּשָׁלִָֽם׃
ישעיה ב ב-ג   Isaiah 2:2-3

Contact מִי אָנֹכִי

Feel free to contact me at
I'm always interested in hearing from those who are using my web site.

You can also use the contact form below. Unfortunately the reCAPTCHA pop-up is a bit awkward (you have to scroll around a bit to see all the images) but such measures are necessary due to those nefarious spambots.

I try to answer all email. If you don't hear back from me then I'm either on vacation or your email didn't make it through. Just try again.

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Donate לְנַדֵב

All contributions are much appreciated but don't feel any obligation to give.

At some point in the future, as time allows, my intention is to make mobile apps (probably largely Hebrew vocab tools) that will be for sale and perhaps also offer live Hebrew lessons but we'll have to see how that develops. Regardless of what happens with that, feel free to use this web site. It's free.

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