View all path courses
Hebrew—An Introduction to Reading the Old Testament
About this course
Lesson 1: The alphabet
בֵּֽאלֹהִים (step 5 of 8)
Beginning to use Hebrew

If this were a language class for a modern language, we would now be introducing our first conversation: “Hi, how are you? My name is…” But since we are interested in learning to read an ancient language of the Bible, our first words will quite different!

The video below contains our first worship song. The lyrics are Psalm 44:9 (Psalm 44:8 in English). Listen to the song a few times. Your goal is to get the song in your head and your heart, and as a result learn to pronounce and understand the words you are singing.
The vocab

Let’s take a closer look at the words in this song and words they are related to.
אֱלֹהִים
2598x
God, gods (noun)
הָלַל
165x
praise, boast (verb)
כֹּל
5521x
all (noun)
יוֹם
2319x
day (noun)
שֵׁם
881x
name (noun)
עוֹלָם
438x
eternity (noun)
סֶלָה
74x
[ pause ] (poetic marker)
Why is it verse 9 in Hebrew, but verse 8 in English?

Due to different versification schemes, Old Testament verse and chapter numbers do not always line up between languages. In large part, there are three different versification schemes. (No need to memorize this information. It is here simply for the sake of explanation and curiosity.)
  1. Hebrew versification
    - Psalm titles are included in the versification.

  2. LXX-based versification (Russian translations and other languages historically associated with the Eastern church.)
    - Psalm titles are included in the versification.
    - Psalm 9-10 in Hebrew are combined into a single psalm, where as Psalm 147 is broken into two. Thus, the chapter numbers of Psalms 9-147 do not match other versification systems.

  3. KJV-based versification (English translations and others languages historically associated with the Western church.)
    - Psalm titles not included in the versification. That is, verse 1 starts after the psalm title.
The result of all of these differences in the psalms is that often verse numbers will be off by one when comparing the English and Hebrew. In addition, chapters of other books of the Bible do not at times start and end at the same point, causing a similar issue.

Thankfully, you usually do not need to worry about this on Biblearc, as the app will automatically line-up the proper verses when using both Hebrew and English, despite differences in versification.