In 1961, William L. Moran published The Hebrew Language in Its Northwest Semitic Background, in which he presented a state-of-the-art description of the linguistic milieu out of which biblical Hebrew developed. Moran stressed the features found in earlier Northwest Semitic languages that are similar to Hebrew, and he demonstrated how the study of those languages sheds light on biblical Hebrew.
Since Moran wrote The Hebrew Language in Its Northwest Semitic Background, our knowledge of both the Hebrew of the biblical period and of Northwest Semitics has increased considerably. In the light of new epigraphic finds and the significant advances in the fields of Biblical Hebrew and Northwest Semitic in the past four decades, the Institute for Advanced Studies of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem convened an international research group during the 2001–2002 academic year on the topic “Biblical Hebrew in Its Northwest Semitic Setting: Typological and Historical Perspectives.”
This volume presents the fruits of the year-long collaboration and contains 20 articles based on lectures given during the year by members of the group and invited guests, including Moshe Bar-Asher, John A. Emerton, Jan Joosten, Menahem Z. Kaddari, Mordechai Mishor, Adina Moshavi, Alviero Niccacci, Elisha Qimron, Ada Yardeni, and more. A wide array of subjects are discussed, all of which have implications for the study of biblical Hebrew.
In the Logos edition of Biblical Hebrew in its Northwest Semitic Setting, you get easy access to Scripture texts and to a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Hovering over Scripture references links you instantly to the verse you’re looking for, and Passage Guides, Word Studies, and a wealth of other tools, make this important work more available than ever for Hebrew study.
Steven E. Fassberg is the Caspar Levias Chair in Ancient Semitic Languages at the Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Avi Hurvitz is the Benzion and Lina Halper Professor of Bible and Hebrew Language at The Hebrew University.