peterkirk at qaya.org
Thu Jan 29 06:37:42 EST 2004
On 28/01/2004 22:47, Jonathan D. Safren wrote:
>>On 28/01/2004 14:33, Trevor Peterson wrote:
>>Well, is there any evidence from early non-Jewish Aramaic, I wonder?
>>King Darius uses 'elaha in his letter in Ezra 6:3 and would hardly have
>>been influenced by Hebrew, but some would argue of course that that
>>letter as we have it was composed or redacted by Jews. What word for
>>"god" would the real Darius have used in his letters? Is there any
>>evidence from Imperial Aramaic?
>The Deir "Ala Plaster Inscription immediately comes to mind. In the first or
>second line, Balaam is called "xzh 'lhn".- a seer of the gods.
Thank you. Clear evidence for the he as a root letter in a context
unaffected by Hebrew. Well, you might like something clearer.
>You can also check HALOT.
I did. Trevor rejected the evidence as probably derivative from Hebrew.
Anyway, there should be a good phonological way of determining whether
Aramaic 'elah(a) and Arabic ilah, allah are dependent on Hebrew
'elohim/'eloah as Trevor alleges. I note that the long o in Hebrew (with
furtive patah in the singular) corresponds to a long a in Aramaic and
Arabic. Is this the correspondence that would be expected if the words
have a common origin in proto-(NW)Semitic? Is this the correspondence
that would be expected if the Aramaic and Arabic are loan words from
Hebrew? From a first glance the former looks likely, as Hebrew long o
often corresponds to Aramaic and Arabic long a (e.g.
shalom/shelam/salaam) - is this the Canaanite vowel shift? - but the
latter looks unlikely. A phonological expert would probably be able to
confirm this one way or another (or possibly answer Yes to both
questions, which leaves us no further forward). GKC 9q quotes
'eloah/'elah/ilah as an example of the vowel shift, which makes it clear
that those editors did not consider this a loan word situation.
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
More information about the b-hebrew