[b-hebrew] Song of Deborah / Song of the Sea

Ian Young ian.young at arts.usyd.edu.au
Wed Nov 8 16:55:42 EST 2006

Hi Jack,

The basic work arguing that the language of these and other texts is archaic is:

D. A. Robertson, /Linguistic Evidence in Dating Early Hebrew Poetry/ (Missoula, Mont.: Scholars Press, 1972).

For a brief summary of why I think the argument doesn't work (despite the quality of Robertson's book), see my:

"Biblical Texts Cannot be Dated Linguistically" /Hebrew Studies/ 46, 2005, p.341-351 esp. p.342-343 [the title gives a tiny hint as to where I'm going...!].

In the pipeline, one of my PhD students is writing on the question, and there is a chapter in the book I am writing with Robert Rezetko, Linguistic Dating of Biblical Texts..., but in the meantime, the Hebrew Studies article is the best I can offer.  If you, or anyone else, can't get it easily, contact me off-list and I will send you a pdf.

-Ian Young
University of Sydney

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Date: Tue, 7 Nov 2006 21:53:12 -0800
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Subject: [b-hebrew] Song of Deborah / Song of the Sea
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I have read any number of times in various venues and by various authors how both the Song of Deborah and the Song of the Sea appear to be the oldest parts of the Bible.  However, the various writers more or less take this assertion for granted and move on.  They never make any argument to support it and I have yet to find one.  So, is there some basis for this claim, archaic grammar or vocabulary?  Any thoughts would be appriciated.

Jack Tladatsi

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