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The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon: With an Appendix Containing Based upon the classic work of Wilhelm Gesenius, the “father of modern. A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, more commonly known as It was based on the Hebrew-German lexicon of Wilhelm Gesenius, translated by Edward Robinson. The chief editor was Francis Brown, with the co-operation of. , English, Hebrew, Aramaic, Book edition: The new Brown-Driver-Briggs- Gesenius Hebrew and English lexicon: with an appendix containing the Biblical .

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T HE need of a new Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament has been so long felt that no elaborate explanation of the appearance of the present work seems called for.

Index:A Hebrew and English Lexicon (Brown-Driver-Briggs).djvu – Wikisource, the free online library

Wilhelm Gesenius, the father of modern Hebrew Lexicography, died in The Thesaurus philologicus Criticus Linguae Hebraeae et Chaldaeae Veteris Testamentibegun by Gesenius some years earlier, and not completed at his death, was geseniu finished by Roediger inalthough the concluding part, containing Indices, Additions, and Corrections, was not published until The results of Gesenius’s most advanced work lexicpn promptly put before English-speaking students.

This broad-minded, sound, bron faithful scholar added to the successive editions of the book in its English form the newest materials and conclusions in the field of Hebrew word-study, brigs large and valuable contributions in manuscript from Gesenius himself, and, after the latter’s death, carefully incorporating into his translation the substance of the Thesaurusas its fasciculi appeared.

But the last revision of Robinson’s Gesenius was made inand Robinson died in The last English edition of Gesenius, prepared by Tregelles, and likewise including additions from the Thesaurusdates as far back as In the meantime Semitic studies have been pursued on all hands with energy and success.

The language and text of the Old Testament have been subjected to a minute and searching inquiry before unknown. The languages drive with Hebrew have claimed the hesenius of specialists in nearly all civilized countries. Wide fields of research have been opened, the very existence of which was a surprise, and have invited explorers. Arabic, ancient and modern, Ethiopic, with its allied dialects, Aramaic, in its various literatures and localities, have all yielded new treasures; while the discovery and decipherment of inscriptions from Babylonia and Assyria, Phoenicia, Northern Africa, Southern Arabia, and other old abodes of Semitic peoples, have contributed to a far more ledicon and accurate knowledge of the Hebrew vocabulary in its sources and its usage than was possible forty or fifty years ago.

Lesicon present Editors consider themselves fortunate in thus having the opportunity afforded by an evident demand. They have felt, however, that the task which they had brkggs could not be rightly discharged by merely adding new knowledge to the old, or by substituting more recent opinions for others grown obsolete, or by any other form of superficial revision.

At an early drriver of the work they reached the conviction that their first and perhaps chief duty was to make a fresh and, as far as possible, exhaustive study of the Old Testament materials, determine the actual uses of words by detailed examination of lexocon passage, comparing, at the same time, their employment in the related languages, and thus fix their proper meanings in Hebrew. In the matter of etymologies they have endeavoured to carry out the method of sound philology, making it their aim to exclude arbitrary and fanciful conjectures, and in cases of uncertainty to afford the student the means of judging of the materials on lexion a decision depends.

They could drievr have been satisfied to pursue the course chosen by Professors Siegfried and Stade in excluding the etymological feature almost entirely from their lexicon.

This method deprives the student of all knowledge as to the extra-Biblical history and relationship of his words, and of the stimulus to study the cognate languages, and lessens his opportunity of growing familiar with the modes of word-formation. It greatly simplifies, of course, the task of the lexicographer. The Editors acknowledge, brwon once, that their labours would have ended much sooner if they had not included the etymology of words, and they are sensible of the exposure to criticism at a thousand points which results from their undertaking to do so.

They have cheerfully assumed this burden, and are ready to accept this criticism, from which they hope to learn much. Here, if anywhere, it is certain that results must, in many cases, long remain provisional. They have preferred to make what contribution they could to the final settlement of these difficult questions.

For like reasons they have been unwilling to follow Geeenius in excluding the explanation of the meaning of proper names, hazardous as such explanations often are.

That the Editors have made use of the Thesaurus of Gesenius on every page, gesenous increasing admiration for the tireless diligence, philological insight, and strong good sense of this great Lexicographer, and recognition of Robinson’s wisdom in allowing him to speak directly to English students by the admirable translation and editorship of the Lexicon Manualeneed not be further emphasized. They have also made free reference to Gesenius’s Hebrew Grammar, in the successive editions prepared by Professor Kautzsch, follower of Gesenius at Halle, and, sinceto the excellent English translation of this book made by Messrs.

Collins and Cowley, which appeared in that year. Davidson, and other grammatical works have been cited as occasion required. All the critical commentaries, and a great number and variety of textual, topographical, and geographical works, with monographs and articles bearing on every possible aspect of Old Lexickn language, have been examined. The published materials for the study of the languages cognate with Hebrew have bgown such proportions as to tax even the most industrious in any extended comparison of kindred words.


The Editors have found themselves sharing with peculiar keenness in the unavailing regret of scholars that Mr. Lane’s magnificent plan oexicon complete Arabic lexicography was not destined to be realized. For the vast and increasing storehouse of Assyrian—as yet most imperfectly explored—the dictionaries of Brwn, and, as far as the times of its appearance allowed, Muss-Arnolt have been employed, as well as Meissner’s Supplementand many special vocabularies.

A place of honour must here be given to Eberhard Schrader, the founder of Assyriology in Germany, whose fruitful work has been prematurely cut short by impaired health, and the Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek begun by him is mentioned here many times. Winckler is of course recognized as the chief editor of the inscriptions from Tel el-Amarna. For Syriac, the Thesaurus of R. Payne Smith and the Lexicon of Brockelmann have been always at hand, with Castell accessible in case of need.

Duval and Nestle also have been laid under contribution. The Aramaic of the Targums and other Jewish-Aramaic documents, as well as the post-Biblical Hebrew have been examined in the dictionaries of Buxtorf, J. Levy, Jastrow, and Dalman, the collections of Bacher, the grammars of Strack, Marti, and Dalman, the editions of Lagarde, Berliner, and Geseniua, as well as the older publications. In the Aramaic Appendix frequent references have been made not only to the grammars of Kautzsch and Dalman, but also to Krauss’s Griechische u.

Cooke, and the Glossary of S. The important Aramaic texts from Egypt, of geseniks fifth century b. The lexical matter of Southern Arabia has been gathered from the Corpusfrom the inscriptions published by Osiander, M.

Index:A Hebrew and English Lexicon (Brown-Driver-Briggs).djvu

Egyptian parallels have been adduced mainly from Wiedemann, Bondi, Erman, Lsxicon and Spiegelberg, with occasional reference to Lepsius, Brugsch and Ebers. In all these departments, where active work is going on, fugitive materials have of course been found in many places, often scattered and sometimes remote.

It has been the purpose to recognize good textual emendations, but not to swell the list by conjectures which appeared to lack a sound basis. There is still much to do in textual criticism, and much which has been done since the printing of this Lexicon began would receive recognition if extensive revision were now possible. Among the critical discussion of the Hebrew texts which have been frequently used are those of Geiger, Graetz, Wellhausen Samuel, Minor ProphetsPerles, Oort, Cornill Ezekiel, JeremiahBeer JobTesenius SamuelBurney Kingsthe several Parts of the Polychrome Bible, the Notes by translators in Kautzsch’s Altes Testamentas well as those found gesenijs the Commentaries especially the two recently completed series published under the editorship of Nowack and Marti, respectively, and the Old Testament volumes of the International Critical Commentary, edited by Professors Briggs and Driverand in many periodicals.

As to the arrangement lexicoon the work, the Editors decided at an early stage of gesejius preparations to follow the Thesaurusand the principal dictionaries of other Semitic languages, in classifying words according to their stems, and not to adopt the purely alphabetical order which has been common in Hebrew dictionaries. The relation of Semitic derivatives to the stems is such as to make this method of grouping them an obvious demand from the scientific point of view.

It is true that practical objections to it may be offered, but these do not appear convincing. One is that it compels the Editor to seem to decide, by placing each word under a given stem, some questions of etymology which in his own mind are still open.

The number of such cases, however, is comparatively small, and the uncertainty can always be expressed by a word of caution. And even if the objection were much more important it would be better to assume the briggz of it, in order to give students of Hebrew, from the outset, the immense advantage of familiarity with the structure and formative laws of the Hebrew vocabulary in their daily work.

Another objection incidental to this arrangement is thought to gseenius the increased difficulty of reference.

A Hebrew and English Lexicon (Brown-Driver-Briggs)/Preface – Wikisource, the free online library

This difficulty will diminish rapidly as students advance lexicob knowledge, and by the practice of setting words formed by prefix or affix—or otherwise hard for the beginner to trace—a second time in their alphabetical place, with cross-references, it is hoped to do away with the difficulty almost entirely.

The Aramaic of the Bible has been separated from the Hebrew, and placed by itself at the end of the book, as a separate and subordinate element of the language of the Old Testament. This is a change from that older practice which, since it was adopted here, has been made also by Siegfried and Stade, and by Buhl, and which the Editors believe will commend itself on grounds of evident propriety.

The question of adding an English-Hebrew Index has been carefully considered. With reluctance it has been decided, for practical reasons, not to do so.

A Hebrew and English Lexicon (Brown-Driver-Briggs)/Preface

The original limits proposed for the Lexicon have already been far exceeded, bfiggs the dgiver time, space, and cost which an Index would require have bgiggs a barrier which the Editors could not see their way to remove.


The work of preparing the Lexicon has been divided as follows: He has prepared a few other articles, as well; e. In addition diver articles for which he is exclusively responsible, he has read all the proofs, and made many suggestions. The following articles have been prepared by Professor Briggs [2] ; they are in the main terms important to Old Testament Religion, Theology, and Psychology, and words related to these: Professor Gwsenius is responsible for all articles and parts of articles not included in the above statements, as well as for the arrangement of the book and the general editorial oversight.

The work has consumed a much longer time than was anticipated at the outset. Twenty-three years have passed since it was undertaken, and nearly fifteen since the issue of the First Part, in June, Several causes have prevented an earlier completion of it. Not only have the Editors been engaged in the active duties of their professorships, to which they were obliged to subordinate even so important a work as this, but they have more than once encountered serious interruptions from unforeseen circumstances of a personal nature.

But, above all, the task itself has proved a greater one than they supposed it to be. The field has been large, the questions have been many, and often difficult, the consideration of usage, involved, as it is, with that of textual change and of fresh proposals in exegesis, has required an enormous amount of time; the study of etymologies is involved with masses of new material, rapidly increasing and as yet imperfectly published and digested; the critical discussion of the many related topics is of great extent and scattered through many books and periodicals.

Even tentative conclusions can be reached often only through a careful weighing of facts yielded by prolonged investigation. And so the process has gone on year after year. The Editors are quite aware that the patience of purchasers has been put to a severe test. They would be glad to think that they may find in the result a partial compensation. They know, indeed, that this result is far from perfect.

Their most earnest care has not been able to exclude errors; the First Part, in particular, was printed under unfavourable conditions, and the years since the earlier Parts were issued have brought new knowledge at many points.

It was not possible, nor would it have been just to owners of these Parts, to make considerable changes in the plates. Such changes have been limited, almost wholly, to obvious misprints, and occasional errors in citation. The Editors venture to hope that in the future they may be able to utilize the additional material which is now in their hands.

A list of abbreviations was issued with Part I. This has been now revised and enlarged, and it is hoped that by its aid the abbreviations made necessary by the fullness of reference, on the one hand, and the requirements of space, on the other, will be quite intelligible. Thanks are due to many scholars who have shown an interest in the work, and have contributed to its value by their suggestions. Prominent among these are Professor Hermann L.

Sheppard, of Bromley, Kent, and others, have laid the Editors under obligation by sending important comments, or lists of corrections. Any further communications which may advance the cause of Hebrew scholarship, and promote a more thorough comprehension of the Old Testament Scriptures by supplying material for a possible future edition of the Lexicon, will be cordially welcomed.

It is impossible to bring this Preface to a close without especial reference to the relations between the Editors and their Publishers, in America and in England. The new Hebrew Lexicon owes its origin to Messrs.

Houghton, Mifflin and Company, of Boston, Mass. The present editors were authorized by them to undertake the work as a revision of that book.

Houghton, senior member of the firm, gave the project his especial attention, devoting much time to personal conference with the American editors, and making a visit to Oxford for a discussion of the matter with Professor Driver, and with the Delegates of the Clarendon Press, whose co-operation he secured. It is a matter of deep regret that his life was not spared to see the completion of an enterprise in which he took so sympathetic an interest.

We desire to record our appreciation of that interest, and of the considerate patience with which he—and the other members of this publishing-house both before and since his death—have met the delays in finishing the work. We are under similar obligations to the Delegates of the Clarendon Press. Since assuming a share in this enterprise they have shown unfailing regard for it as a serious contribution to Hebrew learning.

We desire to express our thanks to the printers, to whose painstaking care in the composition—made complicated and difficult by the great variety of type, including half a dozen founts of foreign characters—in the correcting and in the press-work, the excellent appearance of the page is due; to Horace Hart, M.

The merits of the work—if it have them—are dependent to a large degree on the hearty co-operation of all these, whose service we gratefully acknowledge.