NUN (Heb. נ, ן ;נוּן), the fourteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet; its numerical value is 50. The earliest representation of this letter is a pictograph of a serpent , which developed into the early Phoenician . The later variants are Hebrew (Samaritan ),Phoenician , and Aramaic . During the late fifth century B.C.E. and after, in Aramaic cursive in the medial position the downstroke bent leftward . Thus the Jewish medial and final nun forms developed. The Nabatean cursive medial nun became more and more similar to medial bet, yod, and taw; in Arabic diacritic marks distinguish nun from ba (), ya (), and ta (). The ancestor of the Latin "N", the Archaic Greek , developed from the early Phoenician nun. See *Alphabet, Hebrew.

[Joseph Naveh]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.