Trevor Peterson 06PETERSON at
Mon Jul 29 11:25:24 EDT 2002

It is true that the consonantal distinction between the masc and fem 
independent third person personal pronouns is absent only in the five books. 
The reason is somewhat less certain. I've heard this explanation from 
Christian apologists as well, but I don't know of any actual evidence that 
there was ever a lack of distinction between masc and fem in these pronouns or 
that this way of writing them exists anywhere extrabiblically to confirm that 
it has anything to do with age. On the other hand, I don't know of a competing 

Trevor Peterson

>===== Original Message From "Lisbeth S. Fried" <lizfried at> =====
>Can this be correct, and if so,
>what should be made of it?
>> heres from another list-- hjudaica or something.
>> On pages 43-44 of the book "Eisenstein's Commentary on the Torah",
>> [Author: J.D. Eisenstein, Full Title: Eisenstein's commentary on the
>> Torah, a defense of the traditional Jewish viewpoint.  Edited
>> by Bernard
>> David Perlow and Ira Eisenstein. New York, Pardes Pub. House, 1960.]
>> the author asserts that the author of the Torah (the Five
>> Books of Moses)
>> uses an older writing style than used in the Prophets and
>> Writings. The
>> primary evidence he uses is the lack of consistency with male
>> and female
>> forms of words. For example, the word the word "hu" in Hebrew, which
>> generally means he, is used for she (which is more properly "hi") 54
>> times in Genesis, 11 times in Exodus, 69 times in Leviticus,
>> and 27 times
>> in Numbers, and 36 times in Deuteronomy (197 times
>> altogether). Meanwhile
>> "hu" doesn't refer to she anywhere else in the Old Testament.
>> The author asserts that the changes in writing style suggests
>> that the Torah
>> was written before the other books of the Old Testament. This
>> would seem to
>> contradict the Documentary Hypothesis, which says that much
>> of then Torah
>> (i.e. Deuteronomy) was written after many of the other books
>> of the Old
>> Testament.
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