[b-hebrew] theophoric prefixes (YH~YHW)

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Fri Aug 11 02:46:50 EDT 2006

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Joel Stucki" <joel at stucki.ws>
> I have to admit the term "Israelean" is kind of cute. Israelite and
> Israeli just don't work for you?
"Israelite" refers to the whole 12-tribe nation of Israel. The term 
"Israelean" was coined by H.L. Ginzberg to refer to the northern kingdom. 
"Israeli" is a totally modern term, coined by Ben-Gurion, to refer to 
citizens of the modern state of Israel (of whom 20% are not "Israelite").

>> The forms given in the Bible are no proof of anything, since the Bible is
>> Judahite, and even the "pre-exilic" books were as least heavily edited in
>> the post-exilic period.
>>  All this was noted by Tur-Sinai decades ago, when he published the 
>> Lachish
>> ostraca found in the 1930's.
> Seems like a sweeping generaliziation Yigal. There is such a large
> corpus of data and many different origins. I would find it
> unbelievable to say it is all just Judahite. Surely some of the books
> originated from the north and would have preserved some of their
> character as such. I would agree though that it might be quite a
> jigsaw puzzle at this point to decipher dialects in the recieved text.
> I believe some studies have been done on proper names from the Israel
> and Judah kingdoms in the Tanakh and some trends were noted.
> Unfortuately, I don't have a reference on hand.
> Joel Stucki

Joel, this is more than a generalization - it is the only way to explain the 
evidence at hand. Scholars such as Gary Rendsburg have been attempting to 
isolate Northern texts (as opposed to traditions) in the Bible for years, 
all inconclusively. Yes, traditions about Elijah and Elisha may be of 
Israelean origin, but they are worked into the Deuteronomistic History in 
such a way as to serve Judahite literary and theological interests - those 
of the authors of the DH (without getting into a debate of whether these are 
Josianic, exilic or post exilic). The same is true of northen traditions in 
Joshua, Judges and Samuel. And if the stories themselves have been 
re-written, certainly the orthography would have been up-dated in keeping 
with the conventions of their intended readers.
The Tanakh as we have it is pure Judahite, albeit incorporating older 
traditions, some from the north.

Yigal Levin 

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