Hebrew Nuggets, Lesson 3: Jesus’ Hebrew Name (Part 3)

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In this lesson we will learn the two sounds of the second syllable of Jesus' Hebrew name. The first sound of the second syllable of יֵשׁוּעַ (ye·SHU·a‘) is the “sh” sound. This is represented by ש (shin), the twenty-first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Written with three points or teeth, it got its name from the Hebrew word for “tooth” because of the pictograph upon which it was based.

Revised: 20-Aug-2015

Jesus’ Hebrew name is composed of three syllables. In the first two lessons of “Hebrew Nuggets” we learned the sounds of the first syllable—the “y” sound, yod, and the “e” sound, tse·RE. In this lesson we will learn the two sounds of the second syllable.

Hebrew NuggetsThe first sound of the second syllable of יֵשׁוּעַ (ye·SHU·a‘) is the “sh” sound. This is represented by ש (shin), the twenty-first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Written with three points or teeth, it got its name from the Hebrew word for “tooth” because of the pictograph upon which it was based.

ש (shin) usually stands for the “sh” sound, but sometimes for the “s” sound. In order to distinguish between these two pronunciations, a small dot often is added at the upper right-hand corner of the letter—שׁ. When the reader is to pronounce the ש as “s,” the dot is placed at the upper left-hand corner of the letter—שׂ. In this case the letter is called sin.

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We have now learned four of the six sounds that form יֵשׁוּע. In Lesson Four we will learn the remaining sounds of that name. To read the next lesson, click here.

For the transliteration system used in this series, click here.

This article originally appeared in issue 3 of the Jerusalem Perspective magazine. Click on the image above to view a PDF of the original magazine article.

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  • David N. Bivin

    David N. Bivin
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    David N. Bivin is founder and editor of Jerusalem Perspective. A native of Cleveland, Oklahoma, U.S.A., Bivin has lived in Israel since 1963, when he came to Jerusalem on a Rotary Foundation Fellowship to do postgraduate work at the Hebrew University. He studied at the Hebrew…
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