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Paleo-Hebrew Alphabet

References commonly use modern Hebrew type for ancient Aramaic and Hebrew legends.  The chart below may be helpful for reading and understanding these legends.  Hebrew is written from right to left, and has only consonants.  Most Hebrew words have a three letter root. 

                 

Hebrew is traditionally written without vowels/dots (Nikudot).  For example the "Bet" has a dot in the center while the "Vet" lacks the dot.    The Vav is a "V" with two vertically aligned dots under it, a "O" with a dot on top and a "U" with a dot in the middle left.   The Kaf has a dot in the center, while the Khaf/Chaf has none.   The Pe has a dot in the center while the Fe has none.  The Shin has a dot in the upper right , while the Sin has one in the upper left.  The Tav has a dot in the center while the Sav has none,   The Tav/Sav is only in the Askenazi accent, the Sephardi accent does not recognize the Sav, both are pronounced Tav.  Modern Israel has adopted the Sephardi accent and the Sephardi accent is considered closest to ancient Hebrew.   Certain letters have a "final" form (Sofit) that is only at the end of a word, such as the second "Khaf", second "Mem", second "Nun", the second "Fe" and the second "Tzade".  There is a difference between the Alef and the Ayin, the Ayin is gutteral and the associated vowel sound comes from deeper in the throat.

The Hebrew letters also have numeric values.  For example, on top of the chalice on the Bar Kochba shekels, you will see (from right to left) Shin Alef, Shin Bet Shin Gimel,. Shin Daled or Shin Hei.  Shin the first letter of the word Shana (Shin Nun Hei) or Year and Alef = 1, Bet = 2, Gimel =3,  Daled =4 & Hei = 5.

 


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DecimalHebrewName
MasculineFeminine
0N/Aefes
1Alephechadachat
2Betshnayimshtayim
3Gimelshloshashalosh
4Daletarba'aarbah
5Heichamishachamesh
6Vavshishashesh
7Zayinshiv'asheva
8Hetshmonahshmoneh
9Tettish'atayshah
10Yudassaraeser
20Kafesrim
30Lamedsheloshim
40Memarba'im
50Nunchamishim
60Samechshishim
70Ayinshiv'im
80Peishemonim
90Tsaditish'im
100Kufme'a
200Reshmatayim
300Shinshelosh meot
400Tavarba meot
500Tav Kuf or Chaf Sofitchamesh meot
600Tav Resh or Mem Sofitshesh meot
700Tav Shin or Nun Sofitsheva meot
800Tav Tav or Pei Sofitshemone meot
900Tav Tav Kuf or Tsadi Sofitt'sha meot

Here is a nice chart showing the changes of Hebrew script over time.

Heres another chart...

 And another, showing some early Hebrew...

LEGEND:
1 Proto-Sinaitic writing
2 Proto-Canaanite writing 
3 Ahiram Sarcophagus
4 Mesha Stele
5 Ostraca House
6 Lachish Ostraca
7 Coins
8 Scroll of Isaiah from the Dead Sea Scrolls
9 Scroll of the war of the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness
10-11 Ossuaries
12 Letter of Bar-Kochba
13 Waiver for selling a house
14 Samarian writing