[b-hebrew] Habiru/Apiru/Ibrim

Joseph I. Lauer josephlauer at hotmail.com
Sun May 23 16:48:56 EDT 2004

    As some list members may have noticed, Ehud Ben Zvi
[ehud.ben.zvi at ualberta.ca] (Dept. of History and Classics &
Interdisciplinary Program of Religious Studies, University of Alberta)
posted on the ANE and other lists a notice of the publication of a 33-page
article and nine reviews in the Journal of Hebrew Scriptures
    The article, by William M. Schniedewind, is entitled "Prolegomena for
the Sociolinguistics of Classical Hebrew."  Its URL is
    Paragraph 2.8 (p. 8) of this article (which may be read in either HTML
or PDF form) contains some comments and observations on the "messy problem"
of "the Akkadian term hapiru 'social outcast' (sometimes transcribed as
habiru or 'apiru) mentioned in the El-Amarna letters and the Hebrew term
'Hebrew,' written consonantally in Hebrew as 'bry, with the late (or
ideologically contrived) etymological meaning 'those who came from across
(the river)' or the ethnic designation 'the descendants of Eber' (see
Genesis 10:21-25; 11:15-17)." (accented letters not reproduced)
    The PDF form's URL is
    The HTM form's URL is
    The abstract of the article states: "The study of Classical Hebrew has
largely proceeded from the assumptions of 19th century neogrammarians as
well as formalist approaches. Their linguistic assumptions are based on the
study of contemporary spoken languages that and [sic; are?] particularly
ill-suited to deal with all the facets of an ancient written language like
Classical Hebrew. Language, and particularly written language, is part of a
cultural system. As such, the approaches in sociolinguistics and
anthropological linguistics need to integrated into the study of Classical
    The notice also states: "To access the article please go to the site of
the Journal of Hebrew Scriptures (http://www.jhsonline.org) and click
    Joseph I. Lauer
    Brooklyn, New York

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list