[b-hebrew] Isaiah 53:8

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Thu Dec 16 10:44:13 EST 2004

----- Original Message -----
From: "Vadim Cherny" <vadim_lv at center-tv.net>

> ...
> Subjectively, I don't believe in exceptions in Hebrew. If one example
> doesn't fit, then I'll better look for a different explanation.
> Vadim Cherny


All human languages have exceptions. Some of the exceptions are expected, some inadvertant, some allowed. Examples of exceptions include:

1) irregular verbs
2) mistakes or variances in speech, such as a plural subject with a singular verb, or more commonly an adverb spoken as an adjective
3) variant spellings, sometimes from mistakes, sometimes deliberate, sometimes the result that the language did not have fixed spellings. Unpointed Biblical Hebrew often has variant spellings.
4) deliberate use of archaicisms, usually for effect
5) dialectic use, sometimes affected for emphasis or illustration

I'm sure you can think of other reasons for exceptions.

But by your statement above, do you mean to imply that Biblical Hebrew was not a "human language"?

A second problem with your argument is that it is based on a pronunciation tradition as it existed at the time that the Masorites invented the vowel points to preserve it. Did that pronunciation tradition reflect the pronunciation of pre-exilic Hebrew at the time Isaiah wrote those words? There's very good reason to doubt that. In fact, as I have argued elsewhere, there is reason to suspect that even some of the consonants, which were written, changed their pronunciations over that 1,000 year period, not counting the unwritten vowels. So how do you know that there was a difference L:MoW and LaMoW at the time Isaiah wrote his words? None of us _know_, and even if there was, Peter Kirk has given a good semantic reason used elsewhere as well to show that the two pronunciations had a contextual, not definitional, basis.

I think you are clutching at straws.

Karl W. Randolph.
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