[b-hebrew] final forms of letters

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Wed Nov 8 14:17:26 EST 2006

On 11/8/06, kenneth greifer wrote:
> When did they start using the final forms of the letters nun, kaf, pay, mem,
> and tzadee? Did they start using them all at the same time? Were these forms
> used in the Dead Sea scrolls? Thank you.

A better question would be, when did they start using non-final forms
of letters.
The "final forms" developed as a result of cursive writing.  When the letter was
in the middle of the word, the nature of the writing meant that the last stroke
would move towards the next letter.  As a result, the downward line of the nun,
the kaf, the pe, and the tsade would extend horizontally.  These forms are
used in the Dead Sea scrolls.  See for example, the Isaiah scroll:

(you need a high bandwidth connection for it)

You can see already in the first line the different Mems.

Yitzhak Sapir

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