The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew. Volume 2.Written by David J.A. Clines Reviewed By Richard S. Hess
The editor has kept his promise to provide a steady output of the subsequent volumes of this groundbreaking classical Hebrew-to-English dictionary. Continuing his earlier emphasis on identifying the syntactic usages of each work and on providing full documentation of all published pre-Mishnaic Hebrew texts (including Ben Sira and the Dead Sea Scrolls), several new features are added in these volumes. Proper names are now treated as all other nouns, with a full register of their associated verbs. Various proposals for previously unidentified roots and homonyms are included. A root such as ḥwh with the meaning ‘to bow down’ is cross-referenced to the traditional ṣ̌hh. A bibliography of these new proposals is placed at the end of each volume. The editor recognizes a debt to the bibliography of D. Winton Thomas, and this is reflected in the predominance of sources from a decade or more before the present. New publications of Dead Sea Scroll and Hebrew epigraphic texts are noted and incorporated into the volume.
Many aspects of the dictionary are user-friendly. For example, long entries begin with an outline of the entry and the page where each major division and subdivision begins. The third volume also begins the procedure of listing the number of occurrences of each binyan (Qal, Niphal, Piel, etc.) of a verb.
This is a dictionary that will have wider appeal than the scholar. Its concern with usage means that all students of the Hebrew Bible who wish to see as clearly as possible the appearances of a word with a table of associated words, will find this dictionary a great benefit. In comparison to theological dictionaries, it will be of benefit for the pastor and theologian who wish to do the primary source work of finding how a significant word is used without being told in advance how the occurrences should be interpreted.
Unfortunately, like so many other books and especially series, the cost remains prohibitive. It is to be hoped that the editor and publishers will find some way to make the fruits of their efforts available to as wide an audience as possible.
Richard S. Hess
Denver Seminary, Denver