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

Ken Penner pennerkm at mcmaster.ca
Fri Sep 19 11:15:01 EDT 2003


Dave wrote:

> I don't see the word "elohim" with or without 
> a yod in this document.  And actually, the purported word in 
> the first line looks more like )LHN to me, 

You're right about the N rather than M; my mistake. Good eye!

Karl wrote:

> The first three words I see in it say "KH )MRW )LHM" which, translated,
say "Thus they said unto them". 

The word must be interpreted in the context of the entire document. 
The complete transcription, for the record, is:

1. KH )MRW )LHN LSR) LK HMRZX WHRXYN WH
2. BYT WY$() RXQ MHM WMLK) H$L$

Translation:

1. Thus spoke (the) gods to Sara: For you the MARZEAX and the (pair of)
mill-stones and the
2. house; and Yisha be far from them; and Milka is the third (party; i.e.
garantor).

The papyrus was rolled and sealed; it is a complete legal document.

Karl wrote:

> I notice that the next to last word on the top line 
> does have the yod mem for the plural.

The word there RXYN, only occurs in the dual (not the plural), in the Bible.
The Yod is preserved in dual forms.

Dave wrote:

> This seems to reinforce the ideas that 1) the word is "to 
> them" and not "elohim," and 2) the papyrus may be written in Aramaic.  

(1) "To them" would be spelled with a yod between the preposition and the
suffix: )LYHM or )LYHN, if GKC p.304 is correct that )L derives from a
III-weak ground form. Gogel shows that )L and LPNY both behave this way, as
if they were plural nouns. Arad 3 MAY be an exception, but there the reading
is uncertain.
We have a prepositional phrase indicating the addressee: LSR)
We have no antecedent for a pronoun, neither subject (they) nor object
(them).

(2) The dialect is unlike Hebrew in its plural and dual endings in -N. But
it is unlike Aramaic in its prefixed article, H-. (It actually looks like
Mishnaic Hebrew, even its technical usage of $L$). But (correct me if I'm
wrong) doesn't Moabite also use -N for plural and H- for the article?

Finally, Karl wrote:

> On a similar note, does a lamed-he changed to a yod count in this
question? 
> In a book in the library, as well as on line, 
> I found a picture of a stone written in Sinaitic font where a lamed-he
verb 

Of course, the He in Lamed-He (III-weak) verbs is not the original root
letter, so it's not really a "change" from He to Yod. But this is an
intriguing case you cite. Gogel says there is only one example of a III-weak
verb in epigraphic Hebrew: HYT. Could you provide a reference?

Ken Penner, Ph.D. (cand.), McMaster University
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