Prepositions are great to learn. They help us get around.
We can use prepositions spatially and temporally, and sometimes both.
For example, you could say,
“I am standing before the door.”
“I will be there before you get there.”
The same word is used — the preposition “before.”
But it acts in two different ways.
In the first sentence, the preposition “before” gives a location.
In the second sentence, the preposition “before” answers the question “When?”
(In the second sentence, the preposition acts like an adverb, but it is still the same preposition.)
By the way, you might like to take this moment to learn the Hebrew preposition “before.” It is לִפְנֵי. (Pronounced “leaf – nay.”)
I remember this word by picturing a scene in a fall meadow. The “leaf” falls and the horse goes “nay” before the snow comes.
In memorizing words in Biblical Hebrew, I’ve had to be very creative in making associations in my brain with things that connect the sound of the word with the meaning. I will share those with you as we learn new words. While my particular associations might not work for you, I encourage you to create your own. Learn the Biblical Hebrew word in whatever way works best for you.
Before we move on to learn more prepositions, let’s go ahead and memorize “leaf – nay” (לִפְנֵי). To practice, try and say some sentences in English that use the preposition “before.” As you say the sentence in English, try saying לִפְנֵי instead of “before.”
Using your Hebrew Bible (or whatever online tool you use for looking up Hebrew Bible verses), check out these verses in Isaiah. See if you can find לִפְנֵי in them:
Keep practicing לִפְנֵי. Practice is what it takes to learn Biblical Hebrew.
Interested in getting a taste of biblical Hebrew? There’s more to discover on my biblical Hebrew blog.