One of the most trusted Old Testament resources is Koehler, Baumgartner and Stamm’s Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (HALOT). In its original form it was a 5 volume, 2000+ page resource on biblical Hebrew and Aramaic produced over a period of 40 years. HALOT is a comprehensive OT lexicon that’s layout lists four things for every word:
- Etymology – where did the word come from and the word’s cognates
- Forms – every form of a particular word as found in the Hebrew/Aramaic Old Testament.
- Meaning – the full range of meaning from the OT for any given word.
- Bibliography – for each word they provide relevant bibliographic information for further study.
Logos Interactive features for HALOT
Logos incorporated some really nice features to add to what was already an incredible work. The citations all have a rollover feature. If you place the mouse over the citation you will get the full cite. What is more, many of the Hebrew words are interactive. Rolling over the Hebrew word produces a popup window that gives you the most essential information on that word. In addition to that, clicking the Hebrew words within the entries will take you to that word’s entry in HALOT. All scriptures also have the rollover function that will pull up the verse in your default English translation. Clicking the verse takes you to the verse in context in your English translation (for me, the ESV). What is also nice is that when you click something that takes you away all you have to do in order to get back is just click the “back” arrow at the top of the window. You can navigate forward and backward via those arrows as you navigate through your resources. If you want to find a particular English word you just click the Search magnifying glass, search in open resources and select HALOT in that dropdown. Here is a picture of the scripture rollover function under the Ruach entry
Again, double clicking any of the Hebrew words in the entry will take you to their entry in HALOT. The rollover, word search and double-click features are huge time savers in study.
Integration with other Logos resources
What I have found most helpful about HALOT is using it in conjunction with Biblia Hebraica Stutgartensia (BHS). Typically, I open BHS, HALOT and Brown, Driver and Briggs Hebrew Lexicon (BDB). Then, as I look at the BHS Hebrew text I can right-click any of the words I want to study or get a translation for and click “Search all open resources” which immediately pulls that word up in both Lexicons and also in BHS. By the way, BDB was completely free on Logos at one point in time and I am fairly certain that is still the case – Abridged Brown Driver Briggs for Logos.
HALOT will require you to have a fairly good working knowledge of Hebrew. The only thing that mitigates that (makes it easier for those who don’t have as much background in Hebrew) is the Logos search function where you can find a given English word across Hebrew entries. But sorting through a given entry would be fairly hard without a knowledge of Hebrew. This work is THOROUGH. It is so thorough that it feels like overkill. The good news is, Logos’ features allow you to sort through everything in a much more efficient fashion than you would be able to do with the 5 Volume paper hardcopy piled up on your desk.
To give you an idea of how thorough this work is I looked up the word “spirit” (ruach – רֻוּה). It is a four page entry that would be a good introduction to the concept of spirit in the OT, giving a large amount of bibliographic information for further study, and a huge number of OT citations that give over a dozen shades of meaning to spirit in the OT.
If you are doing an in-depth study of the Old Testament, need a lexicon to compliment your OT commentaries and/or need something to go with BHS to help you in your translations, this is the main resource that will meet all of those needs. I give it a big recommendation and, honestly, I hope someone will come along and do this for the New Testament. The equivalent would be if BDAG was expanded into five volumes.
Last is cost. The 5 volume hard copy is fairly hard to find and extremely expensive. Single volumes sell for over $200. At Logos you can get the full 5 Volume work with all the integrated Logos features for $159.95 or you can buy it bundled with BDAG (the foremost Greek NT Lexicon) for $274.95.