[b-hebrew] Other languages in the Tanakh

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Tue Nov 11 17:37:15 EST 2003


A problem with trying to evaluate lingistic roots is that there is too little information to make a definitive statement. Some words are pretty clear, the date of authorship as well as the context argue for them to be loan words into Hebrew, but not all.

For example, even a document as short as the Gezer calendar has at least one lexeme not found in Tanakh, (CD  [‘atsad] which I think may have meant “to ret”, a common term in those days of making linen out of flax. If a word that common in the language is missing from Tanakh, how many other common spoken terms that legitimately were in the language are known today only from cognate languages or as loan words into other languages?

As for BDB, I think they were philosophical anti-Semites. When a word is found in both Biblical Hebrew and another language, they seem to make the presupposition that the word is a loan word into Hebrew. Who can say so, or if it were the other way around? This is particularly true of Greek, which has several words that historically presumably entered their language through Semitic influences, but what about the other languages as well?

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: Elaine Keown <elaine_keown at yahoo.com>

>        Elaine Keown
>        central Texas
> Hi,
> If you look at the standard (but quite old)
> dictionary, Brown-Driver-Briggs, you will find
> Aramaic, Persian, Akkadian, Tamil or Malayalam, Greek,
> Egyptian and probably various others.  
> I would guess that the Aramaic and Persian loanwords
> are the most numerous---Elaine
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