Gesenius, Wilhelm(vĭl`hĕlm gāzā`nyo͝os), 1786–1842, German Orientalist, one of the greatest Hebrew and biblical scholars. He is principally known for his Hebrew Grammar, which has been reedited so many times that it differs widely from his original. Perhaps his finest work was his biblical commentary. He was, in this, a moderate rationalist, and he aroused bitter opposition. He was one of the first to open Semitic to scientific study, because of his point of view that Hebrew and its sister languages were not sacrosanct, as most contemporary Christians thought them to be.
See E. F. Miller, The Influence of Gesenius on Hebrew Lexicography (1927).
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