[b-hebrew] Language, migration and Jewish identity

jason silber uzisilber at gmail.com
Fri Nov 2 13:42:49 EDT 2007

Hebrew is referred to by Isaiah as 'sfat Cnaan' or the tongue of Canaan.
Israelites emerged from some mix of canaanite and Egyptian with a potential
dollop of philistine (tribe of Dan)
All the peoples in and around the Land of Israel either spoke version of
hebrew (canaanite, moabite, edomite, ammonite, phoenician) or the more
distant aramaic.

On 11/2/07, K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com> wrote:
> Kevin:
> On 11/1/07, Kevin Riley <klriley at alphalink.com.au> wrote:
> > Karl,
> >
> > It may surprise you to know that for once the majority of scholars agree
> > with you.  The earliest Yiddish documents as well as the current
> dialects
> > show definitely that Yiddish originated in the S-W German area, and
> changed
> > as it moved eastward.
> No, I am not surprised that the majority of scholars agree with me. In
> fact, in most subjects I expect that the majority agree with me and I
> with them.
> It is in the minority of cases that we disagree, and that sticks out.
> As for Yiddish, it's an interesting off topic diversion.
> > ...  Bringing it back to Biblical Hebrew, I
> > wonder sometimes how complicated the history of Hebrew was even back in
> the
> > time of Moses.  Exodus mentions a group of non-Hebrews who came out of
> Egypt
> > with Moses, so maybe the development of Hebrew wasn't just a straight
> line
> > even before the Hebrews settled in Israel.  What a pity the Israelites
> did
> > not write on clay tablets, as then we might have more evidence on which
> to
> > base our wondering.
> >
> > Kevin Riley
> >
> The question is, and it is nowhere answered, who were these
> non-Hebrews? Were they Semites from Canaan, in which case they may
> have spoken a language so close to Hebrew that the differences may not
> even show up in the written record? And if they spoke completely
> different languages, would they not have learned standard Hebrew? I
> agree, too bad they did not use more durable materials for their
> writing. But can you imagine a nomadic people schlepping around a
> library written on clay tablets?
> Karl W. Randolph.
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