Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar is the standard reference grammar in English for Biblical Hebrew and remains as an undisputed classic in the field. Anyone who is serious about reading and translating the Hebrew Bible will need a copy for reference. It’s used in many advanced courses around the world. Gesenius is legendary and immovable from it’s status as thee Hebrew Grammar of choice because of it’s exhaustive nature. There is almost no match for it’s utter comprehensiveness. Few have ever read it cover to cover; instead it stands as a reference for any grammatical point that might arise during serious translation study.
What the Gesnesius has in comprehensiveness it also holds in level of linguistic complexity. People purchase the Gesenius to learn more about Hebrew grammar and more often than not walk away feeling that they know even less about English grammar. The language used to describe grammatical and syntactic features might be unfamiliar to someone even with fairly advanced knowledge of English grammar and modern linguistics.
My advice when approaching the seemingly incomprehensible jargon is slow down and really absorb what is being said. Often, with a quick pause and deep thought about what the passage actually means, comprehension naturally follows.
Historically, this work has been monumental in the formal study of Hebrew grammar. It should be noted however that significant points have been proven to be untrue. This doesn’t render the work obsolete but one should be made aware of that fact. More up to date information can be found in Waltke & O’Connors An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax.
Here is a list of two available editions. Both are scanned and enlarged versions with varying degrees of imperfections:
The first is the Nabu Press one based off of a newer edition so it has updated indices, however it’s 34.87$
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The second is the Dover Press edition with out the newer indices but with a more moderate price of 17.98$
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