[b-hebrew] linguistics, was Re: Prov. 30:19

Jack Kilmon jkilmon at historian.net
Sat Oct 11 22:11:49 EDT 2003

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Charles David Isbell" <cisbell at cox.net>
To: "Karl Randolph" <kwrandolph at email.com>; "Hebrew"
<b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Saturday, October 11, 2003 4:59 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] linguistics, was Re: Prov. 30:19

> Karl Randolph wrote: "I also believe, based on internal evidence and
> literary styles, that when Moses "authored" Genesis, he basically
> earlier documents, even antediluvian documents, written with the original
> character alphabet, to make one book."
> In the context of the Hebrew language only, I would be interested to know
> what evidence you might present that Moses had any knowledge of the Hebrew
> language at all.  His name is classical Egyptian, he was brought up and
> educated in Egypt, he apparently both dressed and spoke like an Egyptian
> [see Ex 2.19], and never even visited the only place in the general area
> where a dialect of Canaanite would later come to be called "Judean"
> in Isa 36.11]. What evidence is there that Moses would have known any
> alphabet at all, and not the hierglyphic system used to write Egyptian?

I admit that any opinions on the language of Moses is pure speculation as is
the historicity of the person himself.  Setting that aside and accepting the
narratives for the sake of discussion, I would expect Moses' primary
language to be Egyptian.  If indeed he was raised in the court of the
Pharaoh, he would have been taught the language of diplomacy, Akkadian.
During his many years in Midian, he would have picked up the language of the
Midianite nomads of Moab.  Was it Moabite or Edomite or one of the other
Canaanite languages of the eastern Jordan?


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