[b-hebrew] Samekh/Sin

Trevor Peterson abuian at access4less.net
Sat Nov 20 19:23:49 EST 2004

Yigal Levin wrote:
> Following up on our recent discussion, I noticed that the Aramaic word "sahaduta" (testemony) in Gen. 31:47 is spelled with a Sin, while in standard Aramaic it would be spelled with Samekh. Is this a "Hebraized" spelling, or does it reflect use of Sin in early Aramaic. In the Tel Dan inscription (apparently early 8th century), not only is "Israel" spelled with a Sin (not surprising) but also the word ")sm" in line 9 of fragment A - at least, that's how Naveh read it - like Hebrew for "put".
> Does anyone have any other examples of Sin in Aramaic?

This particular word is attested in Nabatean with sin, and the related 
&hd all over the place in older Aramaic evidence (see DNSI). There is 
also a lot of variation between sin and samekh in Qumran Aramaic 
material. I've personally cataloged several variants in the Enoch mss 
where one ms has sin and another samekh. Generally speaking, I think the 
later Aramaic dialects tend to replace sin with samekh, although 
Sokoloff's DJPA shows significant occurrence of sin.

Trevor Peterson

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