[b-hebrew] dating of matres lectionis

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Tue Jul 26 07:13:08 EDT 2005

On 26/07/2005 04:35, Bearpecs at aol.com wrote:

>According to Cross & Freedman, _Early Hebrew Orthography: A Study of  the 
>Epigraphic Evidence_, pp. 46-48:
>The Gezer Calendar (c. 925) does not use them.  (The waw in YRXW is  not a 
>mater lectionis, but is to be understood phonetically as "ew" (contraction  of 
>"ehu", and the word translated "his two months".)
>The Shemaiah Seal (9th century) has the word LSM(YHW "belonging to  
>Shemaiah":  "The final vowel u is represented by the vowel letter  waw.  If the dating 
>of this seal is correct, this is the first instance of  a mater lectionis in 
>Hebrew orthography."  They also note: "The fact that a  full system of matres 
>lectionis was employed in the Me$a` Inscription from the  middle of the 9th 
>century, suggests strongly that they were being used in Israel  at the same time."
Thank you. I prefer to accept this scholarly evidence. I don't think we 
can trust Karl's proto-Sinaitic evidence as we don't know how the words 
were pronounced.

So, if matres lectionis were new in the 9th century, is there any 
earlier evidence of the name YHWH, complete with final he?

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
Version: 7.0.338 / Virus Database: 267.9.5/58 - Release Date: 25/07/2005

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list