[b-hebrew] Ayin and Ghayin

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Fri Oct 7 17:02:21 EDT 2005

----- Original Message -----
From: "Yitzhak Sapir" <yitzhaksapir at gmail.com>
> On 10/6/05, Karl Randolph <kwrandolph at email.com> wrote:
> > > Hebrew was probably written in the spelling and vocabulary that
> > > appears in the Hebrew Bible only starting from the Persian
> > > period.
> > >
> > Where's your evidence for that? What documents?
> You write that and then...
> > When I read documents like the Gezar Calendar and the
> > Siloam Inscription, I find writing entirely consistent with
> > examples found in pre-Exile Tanakh. Give me a clear
> > enough image and I have no trouble reading the text.
> > Have you ever read Tanakh from cover to cover?
> As you may have noticed, the spelling in the Gezer calendar and
> Siloam inscription is very different from the Bible.

No. What I've noticed is that that spelling is somewhat 
different from the grammar you learned your elementary 
Hebrew from, but I have read plenty of examples of 
spelling consistant with both Gezar Calendar and Siloam 
Pool inscriptions in the Bible. Most of those examples 
are in the pre-Exile prophets and writings.

> ...  Furthermore,
> there are words that appear to use slightly different vocabulary
> than the Bible: Gezer "(cd", Siloam "zdh", Lachish 4 "btsbt hbqr"
> to give some examples.  I have read the Tanakh from Genesis
> to the end of Kings, cover to cover.  I have read many other books,
> but not cover to cover, in the sense that I didn't continue on through
> all the prophets immediately after reading Kings.
Just as I expected, you haven't put in the time, you don't know 
Biblical Hebrew that well.

As for finding vocabulary in documents not found in the Bible, 
Duh!!! The average person, so I'm told, has a working vocabulary 
of around 20-25,000 words. Tanakh has about 14,000. Either 
ancient Jews were substandard in their intellectual ability, 
or the Bible contains only a subset of the language as it 
existed at that time.

> ... I am not at odds with tradition,
> as you have suggested I am.
Where did I ever make such a claim?

> The unpointed text is not "Biblical Hebrew."  It is "half" of
> Biblical Hebrew.  The other half is the Massorah.
The DSS show that the unpointed text *is* Biblical Hebrew.

> > ... If
> > you were handed a document in archaic Hebrew script,
> > could you read it?
> Yes.  Evidently, I was able to read the Jehoash inscription
> before it was publicly transcribed.
Good. Now could you read the whole Tanakh using that font?

> Yitzhak Sapir

Now go back, finish reading Tanakh, through Chronicles, 
then try it again at least once this time without points, 
read the whole magilla, and for fun read the time without 
points using the font found on the Gezar Calendar or 
Jehoash inscription. That should be a good beginning 
to learning Biblical Hebrew.

Karl W. Randolph.

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