[b-hebrew] Elohiym has a Hireq Yod in the M.T.

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Mon Sep 15 14:11:38 EDT 2003

Dear Ken:

There are two questions:

How much Hebrew epigraphic material predating the 6th cent. BC is there? I suspect there’s not enough to say either way.

Seeing as the oldest extent texts we have of Genesis are copies dating only about 2000 years ago, how can we be sure that copyists did not add the yod? Though if that were true, wouldn’t we expect some examples of “elohim” without a yod to survive into the MT? I know of none. And I looked. The lack of any would argue for the fact that “elohim” always had a yod in the original autographs.

Yours, Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ken Penner" <pennerkm at mcmaster.ca>

> > Does sufficient evidence exist to say that:
> > in Genesis 1:1, in the original autograph,
> > it was unlikely that Elohiym had a Yod being used as a 
> > vowel-letter for the vowel "i"?
> I was initially going to say, "No, evidence that Genesis was written before
> the use of vowel-letters does not exist." But Gogel's grammar of Epigraphic
> Hebrew (up to and including the 6th century BCE) shows no examples of the
> masculine plural ending -YM. The ending -YM is used only for the dual form.
> The view that Genesis 1 was written around the sixth century makes most
> sense to me, so the question is too close to call.
> Ken Penner, M.C.S. (Regent College), M.A. (McMaster)
> Ph.D. (cand.), Religious Studies, 
> Biblical Field (Early Judaism major)
> McMaster University
> Hamilton, Canada
> pennerkm at mcmaster.ca
> Vocabulary Memorisation Software: 
> http://socserv.socsci.mcmaster.ca/westerholm/flash or http://sensoft.nav.to
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