Biblical Hebrew Vocabulary Frequency Lists: Quizzes

Posted on by Brooke

My earlier post about biblical Hebrew and Greek frequency lists has attracted a decent amount of interest since I posted it. In this follow-up, I offer biblical Hebrew quizzes based on the Hebrew frequency list.

I very much like being able to offer my vocabulary quizzes in a series tied to attested frequency. By doing so, I know students are getting as much possible "bang for their buck," learning the most frequently-attested biblical vocabulary first.

These twenty quizzes progress from the most common biblical Hebrew vocabulary (Quiz 01) to words that are used only 50 times or more (Quiz 20). I deploy these quizzes over the course of a full academic year. Most quizzes include four categories: verbs; nouns; adjectives; and "particles," including prepositions. I used my beloved Accordance Bible software to generate the original frequency lists.

I say "quizzes," but perhaps I should say "quiz banks": each of the twenty "quizzes" is in fact a list of about 30-35 words. For my part, I have dumped each "bank" into our Learning Management System (Moodle), and for each quiz, a randomized sample of each category is placed into a quiz of ten (10) questions. Students are given the Hebrew, and need to write in an English translation. You can, of course, use these "banks" to create paper or electronic quizzes, and can include as many or as few words out of each "bank" as you like in a given quiz.

Verbs are written without Masoretic pointing (nikkud); all other parts of speech are written with pointing.

In the "11-20" file, I follow every word in each "bank" with a numeral showing how many times it is attested. So, you always know where you are in overall frequency. (I like the idea, but not enough to go back and put those numerals into the 01-10 file!) For example, in Quiz 12, most words are attested 100-125 times, with the particles attested 133-140 times. (I allow the categories to fall slightly out of synch with each other, in order that each quiz can include all four categories of words.)

Technical notes on download files:

  • I offer files in name.rtf and name.txt formats.
  • Word for Windows seems to handle the name.rtf files well, and Notepad does well with the name.rtf files.
  • On the Macintosh, Word for Mac is a disaster with nikkud, and TextEdit works only fairly well, representing the nikkud well but changing word order. I recommend Mac users open either file in Pages, Nisus Writer, Mellel, or almost any word processor except Word. I also had good luck opening the name.txt file in the free text editor TextWrangler.


Quiz banks 01-10 in name.txt format
Quiz banks 01-10 in name.rtf format
Quiz banks 11-20 in name.txt format
Quiz banks 11-20 in name.rtf format

I hope readers find these helpful! Let me know if you use them, and whether you have any suggesions for improvement.

[Biblical Hebrew Vocabulary Frequency Lists: Quizzes was written by G. Brooke Lester for and was originally posted on 2012/04/07. Except as noted, it is © 2012 G. Brooke Lester and licensed for re-use only under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.]