[b-hebrew] Ps. 104:12 - (P)YM

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Mon Jun 21 06:24:23 EDT 2004

Dear Yigal,

>So (oph)aiym, "branches" is Aramaic. What does that say (if anything) about
>the origin and date of Ps. 104?

HH: It could suggest that the psalm is late, but 
I don't know that it has to do so. If it was a 
loanword from Aramaic, Aramaic still goes pretty 
far back:

Present-day scholars claim that the Aramaic 
language itself passed through many stages of 
*	Old Aramaic 975-700 B.C.
*	Standard Aramaic 700-200 B.C.
*	Middle Aramaic 200 B.C.-200 A.D.
*	Late Aramaic 200-700 A.D.

Yet it was not a commonly understood language in Palestine in 701 B.C.:

2Kings 18:26 ¶ Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, and 
Shebna and Joah said to the field commander, 
"Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, since 
we understand it. Don't speak to us in Hebrew in 
the hearing of the people on the wall."

Yet it was known to some, and so could have affected the literate people.

					Harold Holmyard

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