[b-hebrew] virginity

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Thu Jul 19 00:20:15 EDT 2007


I know that some Arabs pushed some Ayin so deep into their throat  
that they choked on it and had to spit it back out as a fuzzy G or an  
R. (ALMAH could equally well be GALMA, CALMA, $ALMA, TALMAH. SALMAH  
is already taken for a full dress, and KALMAH does not connote well,  
as does BALMAH.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Jul 18, 2007, at 11:46 PM, Yigal Levin wrote:

> Dear Isaac,
> The G in "glmt" is really a Gh, the letter "ghayin", related to  
> 'ayin but
> pronounced deeper in the throat. This letter still exists in  
> Arabic. The
> ancient Hebrews kept the distinction between the two even though  
> they used
> the same sign for both of them, somwhat like Shin and Sin. So that  
> some
> 'ayins are orriginally ghayins. For Example, this is why the city  
> name 'Azza
> in Hebrew became Gaza in Greek - because that how in was still  
> pronounced in
> Hellenistic times (and is still pronounced in Arabic). That's why  
> 'Amorah is
> "Gommorah". In this case, the Ugaritic proves that the 'ayin in  
> 'almah is
> really a ghayin.
> Yigal Levin
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Isaac Fried" <if at math.bu.edu>
> To: "Tory Thorpe" <torythrp at yahoo.com>
> Cc: "B Hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Thursday, July 19, 2007 6:34 AM
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] virginity
>> Tory,
>> It appears to me that the "Ugaritic" word glmt = galmat? you are
>> quoting below is from the root GLM, 'to have shape, to have body, to
>> be compact'. The word ends in the personal pronoun AT for the woman
>> itself. The word GOLEM, 'fetus', of Psalms 139:16 is one of the words
>> derived from this root. The root GLM is of the root family BLM, KLM,
>> CLM, SLM, $LM [hence the name $ULAMIT of Songs 7:1, in which both the
>> U and the IT are personal pronouns] and TLM.
>> Isaac Fried, Boston University
>> On Jul 18, 2007, at 9:45 PM, Tory Thorpe wrote:
>>> Dear Bill,
>>> On Jul 18, 2007, at 6:03 PM, Bill Rea wrote:
>>>> Tory wrote:-
>>>>> If Isaiah had intended physical virginity to be clearly
>>>>> understood he
>>>>> would have undoubtedly wrote "woman/girl whom no man had known..."
>>>>> which is the manner in which the Hebrew author of Jdg. xxi 12
>>>>> expresses physical virginity so as to remove any possibility of
>>>>> doubt.
>>>> This is an assumption on your part. As such you can't elevate an
>>>> assumption to a fact. The Judges 21:12 can easily be read  
>>>> otherwise.
>>>> To insist that the author must have added ``whom no man had known''
>>>> to remove doubt is a reasonable assumption but no more reasonable
>>>> than believing the author was engaging in repitition for literary
>>>> effect.
>>> It is more than merely an assumption when one considers, for  
>>> example,
>>> the annunciation formula in the Hymn of Nikkal from Ugarit: hl glmt
>>> tld bn, "Look, the almah will give birth to a son" (UT 77:7).  
>>> This is
>>> strikingly similar to Isa. vii 14. Ugarit and ancient Israel  
>>> shared a
>>> conventional idiom, but used it differently. Cyrus H. Gordon always
>>> rendered glmt (= almah) in Ugaritic texts by "maid" and never
>>> "virgin" since another text from Ugarit puts glmt in parallelism  
>>> with
>>> 'att ("wife"), thus showing that the two are synonymous terms. The
>>> implication is that the etymological counterpart of Ugaritic glmt in
>>> BH may also be applied to a young wife. Gordon wrote: "almah means a
>>> 'young woman' who may be a virgin, but is not necessarily  
>>> so" (JBL 21
>>> [1953], p. 106). I don't think its possible to be more nonpartisan
>>> than that given the evidence currently available. Nothing has really
>>> changed since H. Schultz, Old Testament Theology (Edinburgh, 1892),
>>> II p. 414, agreed with the rabbinic understanding that almah has to
>>> do with years of age, not marital status or chastity per se.
>>> One needs to evaluate your assertion that the negative  
>>> expressions in
>>> Gen. xxiv 16 and Jdg. xxi 12 were added by the biblical author  
>>> merely
>>> for literary effect against the evidence from Sumerian and Akkadian.
>>> Similar negative expressions are used in these languages; there  
>>> is no
>>> single word for "virgin". There is no one word for "virgin" in
>>> Ugaritic or in Mishnaic Hebrew. I would also add Biblical Hebrew
>>> because of the way betulah is defined in the Mishnah and in the
>>> cognate languages of the ancient Near East. In this instance at
>>> least, I could cite others, the Mishnaic Hebrew illumines the BH.  
>>> For
>>> other examples, see R. Gordis "Studies in the Relationship of
>>> Biblical and Rabbinic Hebrew" Louis Ginzberg Jubilee Volumes (New
>>> York, 1946), pp. 173-200; idem, "Biblical Hebrew in Light of  
>>> Rabbinic
>>> Usage" in Sepher Tur-Sinai (Jerusalem, 1961), pp. 149-167.
>>> Tory Thorpe
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> b-hebrew mailing list
>>> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
>>> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
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