Pronouncing הבְּהֵמוֹת in Biblical Hebrew

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American English
I am having trouble pronouncing this word. I know that it means “the beasts” so therefore one should add a hey at the beginning of the word with a patach underneath it. My question is does the bet becomes silent when you add the hey? I know that under the bet there is a sheva and that when it falls at the end of a syllable it is not pronounced. However, I can’t tell if I should pronounce it or not because I am adding a letter which means I am adding a syllable so now I have two syllables. This means that the bet is now coming at the end of a syllable. So should the hey and the bet be pronounced as two different syllables or one syllable with a silent bet that functions as consonant that ends the syllable?

Thanks in advance for any answers! :)
  • utopia

    Senior Member
    Israel, Hebrew
    בהמות is pronounced BEHEMOT.

    הבהמות is pronounced HABEHEMOT.

    the shwa under the Beth is a שווא נע, and in classical syllable division the ה at the beginning starts a syllable but the syllable is divided like that:


    The בי"ת is divided into two syllables because of the dagesh in it:

    When at the beginning of a word in בג"ד-כפ"ת it's dagesh kal, but after the (ה) it's dagesh hazak.


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    The article /ha/ causes doubling of the next consonant (with a few exceptions), so the dagesh means it's /bb/, not that it's stop [b ] rather than fricative [v]. While the cluster /bh/ might be pronounceable, I'm sure /bbh/ would have to have a schwa (vowel) in it, so it would be /habbəhemot/. I think that's what you're asking - I'm not quite sure.
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