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The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon Hardcover – September 1, 1994

4.4 out of 5 stars 145 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, Hebrew --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Driver was professor of Hebrew at Oxford University. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1216 pages
  • Publisher: Hendrickson Publishers; Complete and Unabridged, fully searchable, with Strong Numbers and interactive Index edition (September 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565632060
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565632066
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 1.9 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This lexicon is probably the most commonly used tool for Hebrew students. While dated, being based on an original work from the middle of the last century, it provides in one relatively cheap volume a handy reference guide for beginning Hebrew students. One of the highlights for beginning stucents was the added index at the back of the 1979 edition which alphabetically listed Hebrew words and provided their corresponding Strong's number and the BDB page where they are discussed. For some reason the most recent edition has removed this useful feature, leaving only the Strong's numbers, which are of little practical value for a novice student trying to find a word for the first time. Serious students should be aware of D.J.A. Clines, The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew (Sheffield, 6 volumes), and beginners could find K. Feyerabend's Langenscheidt's Pocket Hebrew Dictionary more portable and easier to use, though much less thorough.
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Format: Hardcover
If you pulled up this title you probably have some interest in studying Bibilical Hebrew. If you plan on buying only one reference tool for those studies, this should be it. The contextual references and translations (although somewhat dated) are extensive and detailed. The The lexicography is the standard used or referenced by all of the other works in the field. The historical information is extremely useful if you plan on doing comparative work or focused eymologies.
This is the single masterwork reference for Biblical Hebrew; and, if you are a seminary student, you will probably have to buy it anyway.
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Format: Hardcover
As other reviewers have commented, this is an essential book for study of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) in the English-speaking world. However, I'd add that it's also perhaps overlooked as a useful tool for anyone seriously engaged with later/modern Hebrew, simply because (unlike the majority of other dictionaries) words are listed by shoresh (root) rather than purely in alphabetical order, and in each case the full range of biblical usages is listed. I live in Israel, and it's unbelievable the number of times that my BDB has been fetched mid-conversation to check the meaning of the root of a word. Geeky, maybe, but nonetheless extremely worthwhile.
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Format: Hardcover
Without a doubt the most complete study of Biblical Hebrew I have run across in my 18 years of study. Complete, concise and clear definitions with references to scripture search as well. Cross references with Strongs Concordance so even if you don't know Hebrew you can find your word or passage in Strongs and then look for Strongs reference number at the back of BDB Lexicon to find the page for your word within the Lexicon. Will open a entire new world of study for the serious student of Hebrew.
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Format: Hardcover
Without a doubt Brown Driver and Briggs (BDB) is a phenomonally useful lexicon, and once one works how to work round the root-order, is more useful than alphabetically-ordered books. The price of this edition too is unbeatable. BUT BDB is a hundred years old, and scholarship has moved on. The current standard reference in English is the 3rd ed. of Koehler and Baumgartner's 'Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament' (HALOT). I would recommend students to start with BDB but to check contentious words with Koehler and Baumgartner, and get a copy when they can afford to (it does cost $150-$180 in the 'economical' 2-volume study edition). Clines 'Dictionary of Classical Hebrew' at over $700 so far, with 3 or 4 volumes to be published, is for libraries only.

I have to say that I use the Oxford edition more than the Hendrickson edition (which seems a straight reprint of the Oxford with Strong's numbers added), but recently I ordered the latter from Amazon for use in Italy where I was living (due to its amazing price, it was cheaper to order it from America than to get my own copy out of store in England), and was very pleased with the quality. Though it has Strong's reference numbers in the margins which are of no interest to me, those margins are slightly larger than the OUP edition, and so one has a little more space to scribble (both editions could do with more margin, tho').

On djdjdjdjdjdj9's allusion to the hishtaph'el interpretation of hishtaHawe, I must point out that by no means the whole of scholarly opinion holds with it. I do, as it happens, but there's not a concensus.
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Format: Hardcover
The Brown-Driver-Briggs (BDB) Hebrew and English Lexicon is a very special dictionary for Biblical Hebrew (and there's a little section at the end for Biblical Aramaic). This is how it works, or at least how I use it. When there is a (Hebrew) word in the Tanakh you don't know or you're not clear about, you page through to it in the BDB. The BDB tells you what type of word it is, whether it's a proper name, noun, verb, etc; it may give you the root in cognate languages such as Akkadian, Arabic, Ethiopic, etc.; and it gives you the various meanings of the word in some of the contexts it is used (with sources and biblical references; it often gives you all the references for the word so that you can use it as a sort-of concordance).
The book was first published in 1906 so it is a classic. It seems that there are more modern lexicons available. If I'm not mistaken (and I stand to be corrected), one modern version I considered seemed very expensive. But the BDB is great value for money. It has about 1200 pages, (mine) is hard-cover (and the cover is nice-looking). It is detailed and clear, and I find it very easy to use. It is also coded with Strong's Concordance Numbers (which I don't use).
It's a pity that the great scholars that gave us this Lexicon devoted so much of their keen minds to the unfortunate documentary hypothesis of higher criticism, whose J's, E's, D's, and P's show their ugly faces in this book, albeit rarely; fortunately, they also gave us BDB, and it is no surprise that it has come to be an essential book for the study of the Tanakh for so many.
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