Hebrew Nuggets, Lesson 2: Jesus’ Hebrew Name (Part 2)

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Many of Jesus’ words were spoken against a profoundly Hebraic background. We believe that a knowledge of Hebrew is central to understanding much of what Jesus said, and what was written about him in the Gospels. This is the second of a series of articles about the Hebrew language. Hopefully, these “nuggets” will encourage you to explore the riches Hebrew study can offer to those who want to understand the Bible more fully. The second sound in Jesus’ Hebrew name, יֵשׁוּעַ (ye·SHU·a‘), is a vowel. Hebrew vowels are represented by signs that are placed under, or sometimes, to the left of consonants (letters). A vowel is pronounced after the consonant that carries its sign.

Revised: 24-Aug-2015

Hebrew NuggetsThe second sound in Jesus’ Hebrew name, יֵשׁוּעַ (ye·SHU·a‘), is a vowel. Hebrew vowels are represented by signs that are placed under, or sometimes, to the left of consonants (letters). A vowel is pronounced after the consonant that carries its sign.

The vowel we will consider in this lesson is called tse·RE, which takes the form of two horizontal dots. Here, the tse·RE appears under the yod, the first letter in יֵשוע. In the transliteration system used here, this vowel is represented by the letter “e.” When unaccented, as in the name ye·SHU·a‘, the tse·RE is pronounced almost like the “e” in the word “net.”

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In Lesson One we learned the consonant yod, which represents the “y” sound in Hebrew. In this lesson we have learned the vowel representing the “e” sound. Together, they form יֵ (ye), the first syllable of יֵשוע. To read Lesson Three, click here.

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

This article originally appeared in issue 2 of the Jerusalem Perspective magazine. Click on the image above to view a PDF of the original magazine article.

Comments 1

  1. Thank you so much for offering this easy explanation for reading the ancient Hebrew language. I have already learned the Hebrew Alepf-Beit but have not found an easy explanation of the vowel sounds. This will help immensely. Now I just need to develop a vocabulary!

    It is so important to understand the language and culture of first century Yisrael. Without it we miss so much of the meaning that is hidden in the Word. It is appropriate that you used the illustration of the gold miner, for we are mining for treasure hidden in the Word! Thank you so much. Shalom.

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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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