[b-hebrew] Yahwism (was: their altar)

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Tue Mar 15 05:28:14 EST 2005

On 15/03/2005 08:46, Karl Randolph wrote:

>... So when the returnies from the Exile made Hebrew the language of religion, legal and high literature, they froze the spelling (in so far as there were spelling rules) to that which was used in the oldest and most important books. In fact, this is one of the evidences I see for my claim that the returnies from the Exile were no longer native speakers of Hebrew (Ezra's efforts notwithstanding).

I agree with your method of arguing here, but come to the opposite 
conclusion because the data is opposite. In fact, it is clear from the 
DSS than Hebrew spelling was not frozen soon after the exile, but 
remained fluid right through the Second Temple period. For there are 
significant and consistent differences betwen DSS, Mishnaic and 
Masoretic Hebrew e.g. DSS and Mishnaic Hebrew rather consistently use a 
silent alef to mark a long A vowel, but the Masoretic text never does. 
And, by your argument, this is evidence that Hebrew remained a natively 
spoken language right through the Second Temple period.

>You mentioned specific passages, Genesis 36:31-39 for example, do you have a list of Moabite ...


>... kings telling their chronology in a way that can be corrolated with our modern calandar? If not, why can't this list be one of kings that reigned before Moses? ...

Possibly, but then how do you explain "before any king reigned over the 
Israelites" in v.31? And "Dan" in 14:14 must be a post-Mosaic editorial 
change. But note that I say "editorial change", not "authorship". I see 
no clear evidence of post-Mosaic authorship in the Pentateuch, other 
than minor editorial changes which might include the addition of the 
last part of Genesis 36:31. On the other hand, I see no clear evidence 
the other way.

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

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