Harry Potter and the Hebrew ISBN SNAFU

It’s not entirely clear why this is the case, but the Hebrew ISBNs are messed up, particularly for Philosopher’s Stone, which doesn’t appear to have it’s own unique ISBN and has been published under duplicate ones. Even now, the publisher’s website has both Goblet of Fire and Philosopher’s Stone under the same ISBN.

I think that the best strategy to take for determining what is “correct” (to the extent that that is meaningful) is to observe what is “most unique” (since the goal of an ISBN is to provide unique identifiers for books). For example, even though 9654487659 apparently appears in printings of Philosopher’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets and Half Blood Prince, Chamber of Secrets has only ever been observed with that ISBN, whereas the others have been observed with other ISBNs. So even though Philosopher’s Stone likely used it first, it most uniquely identifies Chamber of Secrets. This also corresponds to what the publisher says.

That leaves us with one very unsatisfying conclusion though; that Philosopher’s Stone simply doesn’t have an ISBN. Nonetheless that provides the most clarity.

So, below is a table of what you can expect to find out in the wild along with my best judgement about the validity of each. I’ll update it with new information as it becomes available; contributions encouraged of course!

Thanks to @alltheprettybooks for pointing out the issue in the first place and @thehpcollection for contributing data!

No. ENG HEB ISBN-10 ISBN-13 Status
1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone הארי פוטר ואבן החכמים 9654487659 9789654487658 dup. of COS1
9655110281 9789655110289 dup. of GOF1,3
2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets הארי פוטר וחדר הסודות 9654487659 9789654487658 correct3
3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban הארי פוטר והאסיר מאזקבאן 9654488809 9789654488808 correct3
4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire הארי פוטר וגביע האש 9655110281 9789655110289 correct3
5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix הארי פוטר ומסדר עוף החול 965511564X 9789655115642 correct3
6. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince הארי פוטר והנסיך חצוי־הדם 9654822318 9789654822312 correct3
9654487659 9789654487658 dup. of COS2
7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows הארי פוטר ואוצרות המוות 9654826356 97896548263583 correct3


1. Confirmed published with this ISBN by visual inspection
2. Unconfirmed; reported by used-book websites
3. Reported by publisher

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