Jerusalem, neuter plural

John Ronning ronning at
Tue Sep 7 13:51:12 EDT 1999

Jim West wrote:

> At 08:50 PM 9/5/99 +0200, you wrote:
> >Dear Jim,
> >
> >Let me rephrase my statement so you don't miss my point.
> I didnt miss your point the first time.  Your point is simply wrong.

You obviously still haven't got the point.  This is kindergarten level Hebrew.
I'm sure there are any number of reference texts which point out that YERUSHALAIM
is a qere perpetuum, meaning that it is NOT to be pronounced as it is written, you
have to add the YOD; the YOD in the dual ending is not a MATER, which is why it's
always included in genuine dual endings - just look at SHAMAYIM for example; it is
as much of a consonant as it is in the word BAYITH.

> >
> The yod is always optional because it is a matres.  Just as the waw is
> always optional.

'ATTAH HA'ISH  that needs to review what a MATER is - it's by definition a
consonant which is also used to indicate long vowels.  What long vowel is the YOD
indicating in the dual ending?  Good question since both vowels in the dual ending
are short.

> >Therefore, the pronunciation of Jerusalem in OT times was not with a dual
> >ending, but is a later contrivance.  This conclusion is reinforced by the LXX
> >transliteration plus the Aramaic spelling YERUSHALEM.
> First, if you notice very carefully you will see that the masoretes (more
> familiar with the tradition and pronunciation of their own language than
> moderns I would suggest) include the hireq of the hireq yod in every
> occurance of Yerushalayim.  This demonstrates two things- the yod is
> understood (and absent because it is a matres and can be left aside) and
> second, the dual ending is understood in 100% of the occurances of the word.

You also need to review your massoretic basics.  First, as a MATER, the YOD
follows the Hirerq to indicate a long I.  The Hireq in the dual ending is short
(thus would not have a YOD with it) and comes AFTER (not BEFORE) the YOD.
Secondly, hopefully you realize that the vowels accompanying the consonants YHWH
do not reflect the pronunciation of the divine name in OT times; YERUSHALAIM is in
the same category - a word whose pronunciation was deliberately changed after the
consonantal text was fixed.  If YERUSHALAIM were a genuine dual form, it would
mean "2 YERUSHAL's" - what would that mean?

> I felt no need to share these facts as I presumed that
> they were well known to anyone who has taken even a cursory look at Hebrew
> grammar.

I share your astonishment.


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