Page 101 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 43

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WELL1SCH / HEBREW BIBLE CONCORDANCES
89
CONCORDANCES AFTER MANDELKERN
Mandelkern’s concordance maintained its position for more
than eighty years as the most comprehensive and scholarly work
of its kind. It is still the one most often used and cited as an
authority, especially after having been brought to the point of al­
most absolute accuracy. However, modern readers frequently
encounter difficulties in finding a word of which they know only
its form as given in the Bible, because of Mandelkern’s traditional
arrangement of words by roots, his separation of Hebrew and
Aramaic words, and his use of Latin locators and translations of
words. These obstacles to easy use of the workVere soon pointed
out by some critics. One of them, Leon (Yehudah Leib)
Rabinovich, a writer of both literary and scientific works, an­
nounced in 1902 his intention to publish a new concordance in
which all words would be listed in one single alphabet, and all lo­
cators and explanations would be in Hebrew. He even disdained
the loanword
qonqordantsiah
(which had been used by all Jewish
compilers ever since Nathan put it on the title page of his
Me’ir
nativ)
and gave his planned workd the title
Sefer ha-mat’imot
(Book
of the corresponding [words]), a term which had also been used
by Mandelkern but only in the introduction to his concordance.
However, no more than a sample, containing the words from
av
to
ahuzah,
appeared.50
Rabinowich’s criticism was justified from the point of view of
the common man, but he was ahead of his time. His ideas bore
fruit only some seventy years later, when the need of the ever­
growing number of Bible students in Israel for a concordance
that would be easy to use, and would not need either intricate
knowledge of grammar or Latin prompted one of Israel’s most
eminent lexicographers, the late Avraham Even-Shoshan, to
compile his
New concordance
.51
In this work, all words and names
appear in the form in which they are found in the biblical text
(with only a few exceptions), arranged in one single alphabet, so
that it is possible to look them up as in a dictionary. For each
word, there are also explanations of its grammatical forms, its
meanings, and its synonyms. The latter feature is an important
innovation, not found in any of the previous concordances (or in
50 38 p. .1902
:m a iyoss .tro ...unpn ■’i r o n mn^KTinn ~
idd
.a” *?nnrr , r a i ra n .
51 ,nso nnp
...Dn irai
cpk
'OJ
nunri rpyjm ipjip .omas ,nm -pK
4
v. 1977'80.