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ḤET. (ח):

Eighth letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The name, perhaps, means "hedge," "fence"; on the form, which is Aramaic, see Alphabet. "Ḥet" is a guttural, commonly pronounced nearly as the German "ch" before "a" or "o." Originally—as may be inferred from the Assyrian, in which it sometimes sinks into the spiritus lenis, and from the Arabic and Ethiopic, in which it is represented by two letters, the harsh "kha" and the softer "ḥa"—it had a double pronunciation; the softer form seems to have disappeared early. It interchanges occasionally with א, ה, and ע, rarely with palatals. It is sometimes prefixed to triliteral roots to form quadriliterals. Its numerical value is 8.

T. I. Br.
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