[b-hebrew] Re: BH - one language? (was:Job & Sumer)

Noam Eitan neitian at nyc.rr.com
Sat Jun 12 09:01:17 EDT 2004

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Peter Kirk" <peterkirk at qaya.org>
> I see a variety of misunderstandings here, of which the most significant
> may be the assumption that the book of Job as we have it has an
> Israelite source or is even in Hebrew. Its language is certainly very
> strange by the regular standards of biblical Hebrew, and may well have
> been more strange before being tidied up by later copyists.

This can be generalized to the entire OT - written and edited (by some
estimates) over more than a millennium, it is hardly written in one language
(Aramaic aside.) I have been able to decipher the few Ugaritic lines that I
was exposed to with a slightly better success rate (less than half) than
much of the poetry part of Job (about a third.) This, in a collection of
writings that contains large sections (admittedly prose) that an average 9
year old Israeli kid can get through and get the plot.  Noam Eitan,
Brooklyn, NY

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