A Concordance is a tool which brings together similar words (words that "concord") under a single heading. Concordances exist for many major Western works, such as the oeuvre of Shakespeare, and several concordances have been compiled for the HB. Concordances serve two main purposes: for advanced students and scholars, they are often used to help find a passage (e.g. if I knew that the binding of Isaac contained the word , "he bound," I could look up in a concordance to find out what chapter the binding of Isaac is in), and they may be used to see how a word or phrase is used by collecting all uses of a particular root (e.g. I might want to know if is typically used for people or for sheep--I would do this by looking up all of the references of in a concordance [or in BDB in cases which begin with an †]).

A person who compiles a biblical concordance must make certain difficult decisions concerning issues for which there is no single correct answer: Where should nouns be listed? Where should personal names be listed? Should and be listed separately, or together? Should the biblical citation only (e.g. Genesis 22:9) be listed, or should the citation plus context ( ) be listed? Should the citation be vocalized or unvocalized? Which very common words or particles (e.g. the conjunctive ) should and should not be included? Should any definitions be included? Should phrases or idioms somehow be noted? The two main concordances differ in their decisions concerning many of these issues; for this reason, in some cases it is wiser to use one concordance rather than another. Additionally, several concordance and concordance-like programs are now available for various computers; these are extremely useful, but are not widely enough available to be explored here. The best of these is called "acCordance," and is available from the Gramcord Institute (360-576-3000).

Veteris Testamenti Concordantiae Hebraicae Atque Chaldaicae (), by Solomon Mandelkern is approximately one hundred years old, and has appeared in various editions. The following information is important to note before attempting to find anything in Mandelkern:
  1. A list of abbreviations is found on pp. x—xii; some of the abbreviations of biblical books are especially confusing because they are based on the Latin names of biblical books.
  2. Mandelkern is organized by root, so the noun ("prayer") is found under the root (p. 951), as in BDB.
  3. and are treated separately, with preceding
  4. The concordance is divided into the following sections:
    • A. "Regular" Hebrew roots;
    • B. Pronouns:
      • a. personal ( e.g. );
      • b. demonstrative ( e.g. )
      • c. interrogative ( e.g. ,);
      • d. the relative pronoun .
    • C. Aramaic roots
    • D. Proper names (personal and geographic)
    • E. (In most editions of Mandelkern) A key of difficult-to-find roots, compiled by M. H. Goshen-Gottstein. The numbers of this section refer to pages and columns. For example, if you cannot find in the concordance, check this alphabetic key (p. 1558), and it will direct you to 493, namely p. 493, column 4, under the root . (Note that all of the tools surveyed in this section categorize words as words, following the medieval tradition.)
  5. Each entry begins with a short lexical discussion in Latin and in modern Hebrew.

A New Concordance of the Bible, by Abraham Even-Shoshan was first published in 1977, and has subsequently appeared in various editions, some of which have an introduction in English. It adheres to the following principles:
  1. This tool is organized alphabetically, thus ("prayer") will be found under .
  2. and are treated together, thus and are consecutive.
  3. Common nouns, proper nouns, Aramaic words and pronouns are all found in the same section.
  4. Each entry contains a short lexical discussion in modern Hebrew.
  5. "Synonyms" and near-synonyms are indicated.
  6. The verses are vocalized.
  7. The verses are numbered and expressions are often collected using this numerical key. (For example, if you wanted to know how and where the expression of Genesis 22:19, is used, you could look up in Even-Shoshan, and the idiom will be listed with numbers, which refer to the consecutive citations that follow. These listings are not always accurate.
  8. With words that are frequently used, only citations are given; the verse-fragment is not given. It is therefore often more useful to look up common words in Mandelkern, even though the print is less clear and the texts are not vocalized. Skim through both of these tools and compare their entries to the word .
With the advent of personal computers, various computer programs have superceded paper concordances.  The most versatile program is Accordance, produced by Gramcord;  it is only Mac compatible.  A variety of other programs are available for PCs.

Proper use of all of these tools allows any Hebrew biblical text to be understood and translated. Though some of these tools may appear daunting, they are all easy to use, and become easier to use as you begin to use them frequently. The exercises that follow are essential for getting acquainted with them. Other useful tools are outlined in Stanley Marrow, Basic Tools of Biblical Exegesis (Rome: Pontifical Institute Press, 1976).

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