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FHS 24: The Hebrew of the Old Testament: 2 Samuel 11–14


To enable students to read Biblical Hebrew prose (and optionally also verse), and to study selections from several biblical books in Hebrew.

The aim of this course is to enable students to translate a critically restored Hebrew text of 2 Samuel 11-14. This class will prepare undergraduate students in Theology for FHS Paper 24, ‘The Hebrew of the Old Testament’, the ‘Optional Translation Paper: Hebrew’, and graduate students for the ‘Set Texts’ paper in the MSt and MPhil courses. Other interested students are welcome.


Students who complete the course will have gained:

(a) knowledge of the grammar and syntax of 2 Samuel 11-14 (MT);

(b) an introduction to the use of ancient textual witnesses (especially Greek, DSS);

(c) an ability to explain obscure words by means of comparative Semitic philology;

(d) knowledge of the possible historical setting(s) of authorship;

(e) an appreciation of the literary skill of the author(s);

(f) an understanding of the historical and theological significance of 2 Samuel 11-14.

Course delivery:

This is a text class. Those attending will be expected to prepare the assigned portion of text in advance and to take a turn in reading and translating in class. In preparation for the classes, students are encouraged to read the Hebrew text with the assistance of a standard lexicon (e.g. Brown-Driver-Briggs, Koehler-Baumgartner-Stamm).Participants should bring a copy of Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. A general bibliography will be made available at the first class, with further suggestions made when necessary.

The topics of the sessions will be as follows:

  • 2 Sam 11:1–13
  • 2 Sam 11:14–27
  • 2 Sam 12:1–15
  • 2 Sam 12:16–31
  • 2 Sam 13:1–22
  • 2 Sam 13:23–39
  • 2 Sam 14:1–17
  • 2 Sam 14:18–33


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