What is the source for the Hebrew alphabet being in the order that it is? Meaning I realize that there are perhaps several sources that Aleph is the first letter, beis is the second etc, but is there any source or combination of sources which lists out the entire aleph-bet in the order in which we have it today?

possibly related

  • related judaism.stackexchange.com/q/9386/759
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 29, 2014 at 4:56
  • 1
    Good question! The earliest abecedaries(scribal exercises), the Tel Zayit for example, have been dated to the 11th-10th century BCE. An interesting thing about a couple of them found so far is that they have the ayin and peh in reverse order--so quite possibly, in answer to the Eicha question, is that the alphabet might have started out that way. The later abecedaries all have them in the correct order.
    – Gary
    Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 2:12
  • @Gary good point, that is most definitely the simplest answer to the Eicha dilemma!
    – Bach
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 2:16
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    @Bach - there was an article on this subject in Biblical Archaeology Review a few years ago that has the basics of the theory: biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/…
    – Gary
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 2:28
  • @Bach - unfortunately, for the actual, more detailed article, they want you to sign up for their archive access. Phooey! ...But at least that page I linked has the basics of it.
    – Gary
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 2:34

1 Answer 1


Bavli, Shabas 104, is such a source. Plus, there are a number of chapters of Tanach written as alphabetical acrostics (albeit with omissions or a slightly different order in some cases): specifically, Pslams 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, 119, and 145; Proverbs 31; and most of Lamentations.


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