[b-hebrew] Exodus and Hebrew Language

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Sun May 30 09:02:26 EDT 2004


First of all, Jack is correct: the Izbet Sartah ostracon IS in
proto-Canaanite script. But its in a trnsitional phase: proto-Canaanite
seems to have had more than 22 letters, while the ISO abecedary seems to
have been meant to have just the 22. Some of the letter shapes seem to be
more "Phoenecian" than proto-Canaanite. And the fact that the order of most
of the letters conforms with the order known from the Bible is significant.

As far as the ISO's language (as opposed to script) - since no one has yet
managed to read the top 4 rows and the fifth is just an alphabet,
theoretically it could be anything. However, as I've said, the
archaeological context is that of an "Israelite" hill-country village. Just
what that means, I'm sure y'all know, is debated, but the site is certainly
NOT Philistine. Of course, the ostraca COULD have been written by a
Philistine or a Canaanite in nearby Aphek and "planted" at Izbet Sartah....
: )

Yigal

----- Original Message -----
From: "Brian Roberts" <formoria at carolina.rr.com>
To: "Yigal Levin" <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il>
Cc: "b-hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sunday, May 30, 2004 1:41 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Exodus and Hebrew Language


> Yigal,
>
> So what do you say about Jack's assertion that the script of the Izbet
> Sartah inscription is proto-Canaanite?
>
> I guess if we were to take the harmonization route here, we'd come up
> with an  Israelite village where a Philistine child was learning
> Canaanite. (Sorry, couldn'y resist).
>
> On a more serious note, do scholars assume that literacy in the ANE was
> an on-off phenomenon or was there a scale of degrees of literacy like we
> see today?
>
> Best Salaams,
>
> Brian Roberts
>
>
> On Saturday, May 29, 2004, at 07:31  PM, Yigal Levin wrote:
>
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > The Izbet Sartah inscription is assumed to be"Hebrew" because it was
> > found
> > in the archaeological context of a typical Iron I hill-country village -
> > typical in pottery, architecture, plan etc. Izbet Sartah is as Iron I
> > "Israelite" as there is. Now, it is possible to argue just what
> > "Israelite"
> > means in the 12-11th centuries and would the inhabitants have actually
> > used
> > that term, but what would have been the linguistic difference between a
> > Canaanite village and an Israelite one, anyway?
> >
> > Yigal
> >
> >
> > From: "Jack Kilmon" <jkilmon at historian.net>
> >> I am not sure what it is that makes the Izbet Sartah inscription
> >> Hebrew.
> >> The script is proto-Canaanite.  Is it considered Israelite because the
> >> abecedary had..or was supposed to have..22 letters?   Hebrew is a
> >> language
> >> that used the Canaanite script and some centuries later, adopted the
> > Aramaic
> >> script...but a script is not a language, is not a culture.  This
> >> ostracon
> >> could have been the exercise of a Philistine child learning Canaanite.
> >> Maybe there is something I am missing here.
> >>
> >> Jack
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
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> >> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> >> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
> >>
> >>
> >
> >
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> >
>
>
>





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