The Most Accurate Pronunciation Using the Original Hebrew
1) the 22 Ancient Hebrew picture-letters (pictographs).
2) the following aspects of each pictograph, its: written description, meaning, best English transliteration, English transcription (sound), and Modern Jewish Hebrew transliteration.
3) for each pictograph's letter-name, the letter name: written in Ancient Hebrew pictographs, transliterated into English, transcribed into English, meaning (as per the individual letters in the letter-name, and their combination), and references in the Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible and Strong's Concordance.
Below is a jpeg of the chart.
For a high resolution image with active hyperlinks (recommended) see AHAC_JEM_9.pdf.
How I Compiled this Chart
Ancient Hebrew Picture-Letter (Pictograph)
I downloaded Jeff Benner's ancient Hebrew font from the Ancient Hebrew Research Center Fonts page.
I have not included Benner's 23rd letter that he calls "ghan" (a twisted rope). This is because I can see no equivalent transliteration(s) of this letter in the ancient and modern alphabets used by (or that are in use by) ISHaRaALites, including: Paleo Hebrew; Phoenician; Paleo Aramaic; Paleo Greek; Square Estrangelo Aramaic; Modern (Jewish) Hebrew; Middle Greek; Modern Greek and English (Latin). These alphabets are shown in my Evolution of the English Alphabet Chart.
Also there are no other "Ancient Hebrew" letters that have not been carried through into Paleo Hebrew, and onwards throughout time like this. This indicates to me that the letter "ghan" was not part of the original Ancient Hebrew alphabet. Instead it may have been an Egyptian letter the ISHaRaALite slaves borrowed when they were slaves in Egypt. There are many different Egyptian rope hieroglyphs.
I obtained the descriptions of the pictures that the letters are of from the Ancient Hebrew Alphabet Chart By Jeff A. Benner (html version) and the same chart (pdf version). Both of these charts are slightly different even though they have the same title and author, and most of the same column headings.
My descriptions are the same as Benner's except -
1) I have explained what a mattock is by writing the word "plough" in brackets next to the word "mattock".
2) I have not written the word "closed" for the description of the letter ID (aka yod in Modern Jewish Hebrew [MJH]) because because the hand in the Ancient Hebrew pictograph, and the equivalent ancient Egyptian pictograph (which was inspired by the Ancient Hebrew, I believe) do not look closed to me, but rather, open.
3) I have specified the palm (K) as being "of a hand" as opposed to a palm which could be interpreted as being of either a hand or of a plant.
4) My description of the letter TSaD (MJH tsadeh) is "destination and path" instead of "man on his side". This is because Benner has actually recently decided (around Sep 08) that the letter is more likely a destination (the circle) and path (the squiggly line), but he has not had time (as of the date I am writing this [Dec. 5, 2008]) to update his charts yet. Please see his page called Update on the Hebrew Letter Tsade for more.
Meaning of Letter
I obtained the meanings of the letters from the Ancient Hebrew Alphabet Chart By Jeff A. Benner (html version), and the same chart (pdf version). Also I used the Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible (AHLB) By Jeff A. Benner.
My meanings are the same as Benner's except -
1) In one of Jeff's charts (html) he has added the word "entrance" to the meaning of the letter DaL (MJH dalet), whereas I did not have space to write this and thought that the word "enter" would encompass the meaning of the word "entrance".
2) For the letter EA (MJH "he") I have placed the meaning of "breath" first instead of last. This is because when I read the definitions of words starting with the letter named EA (said as [eh]) in the Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible - AHLB I have found that these words are related to "breath" more often than not. This is especially true for the word "EE" [eh-eh] which means "breathing". EE is the root word for the phrase "AEIE" in SHaMUT (Exodus) chapter three which means "I work-at-breathing" or "I exist" or "I am". IEUE was trying to reassure MaSHE (Moses) about MaSHE's speech impediment. Speech involves breathing. IEUE means "He Breathes and Breathes" because IEUE was trying to help MaSHE breath and hence speak. Also IEUE is the Creator that breathed life into ADaM. See Exodus 3 - A Perfect Match for the Ancient Hebrew for more on the burning bush incident. So, I have leaned upon the very important word called the Creator's name in the ministerial context it was revealed to the world through MaSHE, in order to understand the meaning of the letter EA.
3) My meaning of the letter TSaD is different to Benner's two charts because again, Benner has not had time to update his charts after he changed his mind about what this letter represents. Again, the background behind the meaning of "trail, journey, hunt" can be found on his page called Update on the Hebrew Letter Tsade.
Best English Transliteration
To transliterate the Ancient Hebrew letters into English I have used my articles entitled The True Hebrew Alphabet Family Tree and the Evolution of the English Alphabet Chart.
A transliteration is the process of mapping letters from one alphabet to another alphabet.
I have tried to use a wholistic approach using all five major living alphabets that have been used by the descendants of ABaREM (Abraham). These are English, Greek, Modern Jewish Hebrew, Syriac Aramaic and Arabic (Arabic is OBaRIM (Hebrew) but not ISHaRaALite).
I have also had these ideas in mind:
1) The majority of the descendants of ISHaRaAL (Jacob) went on to use the English and Greek alphabets.
2) The Greek alphabet is older than the modern square-script Hebrew alphabet, the Aramaic Syriac alphabet AND the Arabic alphabet. English evolved out of Ancient Greek.
3) The English and Greek alphabets have been used over a larger geographical area both today and throughout history than the other three alphabets.
4) There are many more artifacts with the Greek and English alphabets on them than the other three alphabets.
Therefore my Ancient Hebrew to English transliterations are different to some of Jeff Benner's ancient sounds.
Here is specifically how our Ancient Hebrew pronunciations are different -
1) The letter named BaT (MJH bet) has a B sound only, and not [bh] or [v] as well.
2) The letter named EA (MJH he) is a vowel-letter E with an [eh] sound and never an H sound (otherwise there would be two H sounds (he and het) in the alphabet and that is inefficient). Also any type of H sound whether it be throaty or not is formed by the closing of the back of the throat. The vocal tract is divided. The letter named CHaTS (MJH het) means "divide" so there would be no point having two letters with the same division of the throat, when only one of these letters (CHaTS) means "divide".
3) The letter named UU (MJH waw) is another vowel-letter—with an U [ooh] sound.
4) The letter named ID (MJH yod) has an I [eeh] sound. The fact that Jeff has written "y/i" for the ancient sound for yud is besides the point, since the letter "y" in all major modern SHaMitic alphabets is said as an [eeh] (I), just like a Greek iota and the Old English "i" and "j".
5) The letter named KaP (MJH kaph) has a pure K sound and not a more throaty [kh].
6) The letter named XaN (MJH samekh) has an X (same as a [ks] sound) and not an S sound.
7) The letter named ON (MJH ayin) is pure vowel-letter O said as [oh], and is not silent or a throaty [gh]. Ancient Hebrew had five vowel-letters in total . They were named AL, EA, ID, ON and UU (equivalent to A, E, I, O and U).
8) Finally, the letter named PA (MJH peh) has a pure P sound and not a [ph] or [f] sound.
I believe all of the additional sounds Benner and other Modern Jewish Hebrew "scholars" use have been superimposed by corrupt scribes from all elite groups (including Jews, Romans and Greeks) onto Ancient Hebrew to pervert the language, to ultimately HIDE the Name of the Creator. It is amazing to believe but Ancient Hebrew was a particularly SIMPLE language.
English Transcription (Sound)
I have used the concepts in my articles The Sound of Ancient Hebrew and Ancient Hebrew - The First Text Language to write this column.
A transcription is the process of matching the sounds of human speech to letters.
Once placed into a word, I believe each Ancient Hebrew letter has an [ah] sound after it unless that letter is at the end of a word or if a vowel-letter (other than an AL) is after it. This rule only applies to consonant letters—ie not AL, EA, UU, ID and ON. This principle is largely based on other languages alive today that use mainly consonants that have a default letter in between these consonants that is not written. For example in Hindi and Sanskrit.
Name of Letter
I have compared all of the names of the letters of the five major modern SHaMitic alphabets—English, Greek, Jewish Hebrew, Syriac Aramaic and Arabic to find the common letters in each letter-name. I am working on a chart that will display all these letter-names I have found.
Then I have used the Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible, the Ancient Hebrew Alphabet Chart By Jeff A. Benner (html version) and the same chart (pdf version) again.
Using these charts I have found that each letter-name has at least two root letters that each different alphabet's letter-name uses, across all five major SHaMitic alphabets.
Most Hebrew words are based on a word called a "parent-root" that is two letters long and I believe this is the same for the letter names.
At least 12 out of 22 (just over half) of the letter-names that Benner uses are root (two-letter) words. So he believes that many of the Hebrew letter names today in Jewish ("Modern) Hebrew are not the same as the Ancient Hebrew letter names.
With this in mind I believe that the Ancient Hebrew letter names only have two letters.
These two-letters per letter-name neatly make the letter names rhyme with the way the letter is said in a word. For example the letter AL would be said as [ah] in a word. The letter named BaT is said as [bah] in a word (instead of bet [bayt]). Thus the rhyming mechanism would act as a memorising tool, especially for children.
Also the letters EA (MJH he), UU (waw), ID (yod), KaP (kaph), and PA (pe) do not have three-letter letter-name alternatives like the other letters do across the major modern SHaMitic languages, so we have no choice to accept a two letter root word for these specific letters.
Moreover a two-letter root-word for each letter is more general, simple, consistent and standardised. Thus reader of the letter would be more accurately reminded of the more general meaning of the letter when they say the two-letter name of each letter.
Whilst I have used the sound of a letter in Greek and/or English quite extensively instead of the other modern SHaMitic alphabet's letter-sounds to extrapolate back to Ancient Hebrew letter-sounds, I am not so inclined to want to use the Greek and English letter-names in the exact same way. Letter names being longer are much more prone to inter-cultural and pagan influence, purely due to statistics over time. The longer a word, the easier it is to append or addend. A corrupted form of Jewish Hebrew may have influenced the Greek and English letter-names or vice versa, via elite conspiring scribes.
Meaning of Letters
I have used the Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible to find what I have deemed as the most likely meaning of each of the two-letter parent-roots of each letter-name. Sometimes the root-word is not found in scripture but there are always words derived from the root found in scripture. The scripTUREs, while they do give us a snapshot of almost all Ancient Hebrew words, does not contain all words that were in use.
How the Current (Mar. 5, 2010) Version of the Chart is Different to the Last (Dec. 12, 2008) Version
Double-click on the image below to see the Mar. 5, 2010 (current version) with its changes compared to the last version (Dec. 12, 2008) highlighted.
I have been and am gradually updating all of my work on YehSpace in light of the latest version.
Going down each column, from left to right, the changes are:
1) The words "Picture" and "Pictographs" have been added to the heading of the second column, replacing the word "Glyph". This is to emphasise the fact that the Ancient Hebrew letters were picture-letters that were easily to envisage and thus remember; and not just "normal" less-descript non-pictographic letters. The word "glyph" is too generic to describe Ancient Hebrew letters.
2) The word "Pictograph" has been defined in the footnotes of the chart (footnote 1): this includes a definition of "glyph" that is shorter than the glyph definition provided in the last version.
3) The word "Description" has been added to the heading of the third column to make it clearer that this column contains written descriptions of each pictograph, and not actual pictures of the pictographs (which the second column shows).
4) The word "Best" has been added to the heading of the fifth column because in some cases there are several English letters that have transliterally evolved out of Ancient Hebrew pictographs, which are: G and C from the foot letter GaM (MJH gimel), Y F V U W from the tent peg letter UU (MJH waw), and I and J from the hand and arm letter ID (MJH yod).
5) The word "Transliteration" in the heading of the fifth column has been been allocated as footnote 2 of the chart, and the definition of Transliteration here is longer than it was previously.
6) The letter "ð" has been added to the fifth column as the best English transliteration for the basket letter THaTH (MJH teth). This is because this letter is an Old English (mid 5th C to mid 12th C) and Middle English (late 11th C to about 1470) letter, with the same sound as THaTH which was [TH].
7) ð has been mentioned in the footnotes of the chart (footnote 5).
8) The letter "S" has been added to the fifth column as the best English transliteration for the
destination and path letter TSaD (MJH tsadi). In the last version of the chart there was no letter supplied in this cell. Instead S was given as the English transliteration for the two front teeth letter SHaN (MJH shin). This is wrong. S is the best transliteration for the letter TSaD (obvious from the shape similarities), and ∫ (see cthe next comment) is the best transliteration for the letter SHaN. English words that contain an S used to have an ∫ written where the S is.
9) The letter "∫" has been added to the fifth column as the best English transliteration for the two front teeth letter SHaN (MJH shin). This is because this letter is an Old English (mid 5th C to mid 12th C) and Middle English (late 11th C to about 1470) letter, with the same sound as SHaN which was [SH].
10) ∫ has been mentioned in the footnotes of the chart (footnote 5).
11) The word "Transcription" in the heading of the sixth column has been been allocated as footnote 3 of the chart; and the definition no longer has the words "blogs on", and the word "SMS" has been replaced by "Text" to more accurately reflect the amendment to one of the articles listed.
12) Single or double lettered transcriptions that exclude the default "a" sound after each consonant have been given in the sixth column for the English Transcription for each Ancient Hebrew letter. This is for greater ease of personal transcription of Modern Jewish Hebrew words in the Masoretic Westminster Leningrad Codex into Ancient Hebrew: leaving the transcriber to insert the default "a" where necessary.
13) The transcription for the tent wall letter CHaTS in the sixth column as been changed from "hhah" to CH because CH is the more common English transcription of the sound for the letter.
14) The CH transcription in the sixth column has been defined in the footnotes of the chart (footnote 6): as the sound as in the Scottish "loch". This is [CH], not [TSH] as in chalk or [SH] as in shine. The sound [CH] has been written as [HH] and/or [KH] by other Hebrew scholars and students. This sound [CH] is the same sound as the sound of the transliterally equivalent letters to CHaTS in Modern Jewish Hebrew, Aramaic Syriac and Arabic (het, khet and ha: respectively)—as well as the sound at the end of the (European) German composer's name "Bach". Here is a sound file with a woman saying the Aramaic Syriac letter "khet". She also says some other words starting with khet. You will hear her make the [CH] sound at the back of the throat—like she is about to spit. The [CH] is one sound, but there are difference degrees of how much you close the back of your throat up when you make this sound. The Ancient Hebrew [CH] would have been strong to start with. That's because if it was weak then the sound may have been completely lost over time. The letter has to be made at the back of the throat and cannot be silent (like an English final transcriptional "h"), because it is at the end of some Ancient Hebrew words. For example MaSHICH [masheech] (Messiah) and RUCH [rooch] (spirit). If the letter CHaTS was silent it would be a waste of a letter at the end of these words.
15) The transcription for the thorn letter XaN in the sixth column as been changed from "ksah" to X because most English speakers know how to say X as KS, and using X reinforces how similar the shape of the English letter X is compared to the Ancient Hebrew letter XaN.
16) The Q transcription in the sixth column has been defined in the footnotes of the chart (footnote 7): as the sound as in the Q of Modern Jewish Hebrew, Syriac Aramaic and Arabic.
17) The word "Jewish" has been added to the heading of the seventh column to empasise the one-house Jewish (ie not the [more wholistic] two-house) nature of the graphology (letter-shape) of what most people call "Modern Hebrew".
18) Column borders (lines) have been (more aesthetically) aligned in the heading cells of the "Name of Letter" columns.
19) English transliterations of the Names of Letters in the ninth column have had their root letter's capitalised, and a default "a" added if they consist of two consonants.
20) The addition of the default "a" in the ninth column letter-names has been mentioned in the footnotes of the chart (footnote 4): and the old footnote for this column has been removed.
21) The English transliteration of the letter-name for the tent wall letter CHaTS in the ninth column has been changed from "h--" to HaS in light of amendment 8).
22) The English transliteration of the letter-name for the basket letter THaTH in the ninth column has been changed from "---" to "ðað" in light of amendment 6).
23) The English transliteration of the letter-name for the destination and path letter TSaD in the ninth column has been changed from "--d" to "SaD" in light of amendment 8).
24) The English transliteration of the letter-name for the man's head letter RaSH in the ninth column has been changed from "r--" to "Ra∫" in light of amendment 9).
25) The English transliteration of the letter-name for the two front teeth letter SHaN in the ninth column has been changed from "s-n" to "∫an" in light of amendment 9).
26) The English transcription of the letter-name for the man with arms raised letter in the tenth column has been changed from "air" to "eh ah", because "air" as in the "air we breathe is said differently amongst difference English speakers. and spelling out the two syllables makes them easier to pronounce as they should be (using British English).
27) The English transcription of the letter-name for the tent wall letter in the tenth column has been changed from "hhats" to "chats" in light of amendment 12).
28) The English transcription of the letter-name for the thorn letter in the tenth column has been changed from "ksan" to "xan" in light of amendment 14).
29) The word "Notes:" has been added at the bottom left of the chart.
30) From the very bottom of the footnotes: the date and copyright years have changed, my first name has been added; the "www.", "May be distributed" and "Please" removed; and the words "the article" added before the link to this article.
How the Dec. 5 2008 Version of the Chart is Different to the Dec. 12 2008 Version
Double-click on the image below to see the Dec. 12, 2008 (last version) with its changes highlighted to the version before that (Dec. 5, 2008).
Going down each column, from left to right, the changes are:
1) New date—12 Dec 08
2) The description for the letter named DaL of "door" has been changed to "tent door" to more accurately describe the picture-letter. This also aligns with Benner's description moreso.
3) The description for the letter named KaP of "palm of hand" has been changed to "open palm of hand" to describe the picture-letter more accurately, and also to align with Benner's "open palm".
4) The description for the letter named NaN of "sprouted seed" has been changed to Benner's "sprouting seed" because Ancient Hebrew is more of an "action" language. Thus I have changed the past tense verb "sprouted" into a present tense verb "sprouting".
5) The description for the letter named MA of "mouth" has been changed to "open mouth", again due to more properly describe the picture-letter.
6) The description of the letter named TSaD of "man lying on his side" has been changed to "destination and path" to align with Benner's recent change in stance on the description of this letter (as discussed previously).
7) The meaning of the letter named EA of "breath" has been placed as the first meaning since a breath is the first physical act after seeing a strong sight (as discussed previously).
8) The meaning of "nourish" has been added as a meaning for the letter ZaN, to match one of Benner's meanings for this letter.
9) The meaning of "wait, chase, snare, hunt" for the letter TSaD has been changed to "trail, journey, hunt", again to align with Benner's revised thinking on the description and meaning of this letter.
10) The meaning of "signal" instead of "signature" has been used as a meaning of the letter TA (MJH Tau). This is because the letter can mean signature, but the word "mark" I feel encompasses the idea of a signature, and the meaning of "signal" more different to "signature". Since "signal" is a legitimate meaning of this letter and none of the other meanings seem to describe it, it has been included.
11) I have left off a transliteration for the letter named TSaD into English because there is no direct letter in English that has evolved straight from the letter "TSaD. However, the letter S has been used to replace the letter TSaD in times gone by. The letter S has evolved straight out of the letter SHaN (MJH shin).
12) I have transcribed the sound of the letter named XaN (MJH samekh) as [ksah] in English. This is to show that the sound X and KS is the same.
13) Two-letter Ancient Hebrew root (parent) words have now been used for the names of the letters/sounds equivalent to B, H, TH, N, X, O, R and T (eight letters altogether). Again, this is because most Hebrew words are based on a word called a "parent-root" that is two letters long and I believe this is the same for the letter names. At least 12 out of 22 (just over half) of the letter-names that Benner uses are root words. He believes that many of the Hebrew letter names today in Modern Jewish Hebrew are not the same as the Ancient Hebrew letter names. With this in mind I believe that the Ancient Hebrew letter names only have two letters. This would make the letter names rhyme with the way the letter is said in a word. For example the letter AL would be said as [ah] in a word. The letter named BaT is said as [bah] in a word (instead of bet [beyt]). This rhyming mechanism would act as a memorising tool, especially for children. Also the letters EA (MJH he), UU (waw), ID (yod), KaP (kaph), and PA (pe) do not have three-letter alternatives like the other letters do across the modern SHaMitic letter-names, so we have no choice to accept a two letter root word for these letters. Moreover a two-letter root-word for each letter is more general, simple, consistent and standardised. Thus reader of the letter would be more accurately reminded of the more general meaning of the letter when they say the two-letter name of each letter.
14) I have now called the letter named ME, the letter MA. This is because the letters named EA, PA, and TA all have an A [ah] at the end which aligns with the idea that each Ancient Hebrew letter name rhymes with how the letter is said in a word.
15) I have now called the letter PE, the letter PA. Likewise this because the letters EA and TA both have an A (letter named AL) at the end which also aligns with the idea that each Ancient Hebrew letter name rhymes with how the letter is said in a word. Also the Modern Hebrew letter name for this letter is written as "pey-aleph". This transliterates into PA in English. For proof see http://www.learn-hebrew.co.il/English-Hebrew/pay.htm.
16) I have not been able to transliterate the letter-names fully for the letters named HhaTS, THaTH, TSaD and RaSH because one or more letters in these Ancient Hebrew letter-names does not have a direct transliteration in English - they are TSaD, and THaTH.
17) I have revised the letter-by-letter meaning of the letter names for 13 letter-names to make them more inline with Benner's AHLB word definitions from each parent-root.
18) I have revised the overall letter-name meaning (which comes from the letter-by-letter meaning) for 15 letters, by again, studying Benner's word definitions for each parent (two-letter) root word. NOTE - there are other secondary meanings that stem from these one-word meanings I have given. These meanings are described in the AHLB.
19) I have added a brand new column dedicated to Strong's and Benner's referencing of each letter-name.
20) I have added the statement "Please see Ancient Hebrew Alphabet Chart for how this chart was compiled" at the bottom with a hyperlink to this page that you are reading right now. This is so people can go directly to the reasoning behind the chart, if we share the chart with others.
Article Last Updated Jan 28, 2012.
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