[b-hebrew] Vernacular and Written Hebrew in the Persian and Greek Periods

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Sun Nov 4 21:26:30 EST 2007

On Nov 3, 2007 4:39 PM, Yitzhak Sapir wrote:
> List readers may be interested in this article:
> William Schniedewind, "Aramaic, the Death of (Written) Hebrew, and Jewish
> Nationalism in the Persian Period," in Margins of Writing, Origins of Cultures.
> Available online at:
> http://oi.uchicago.edu/pdf/OIS2.pdf (p. 149ff of the pdf)

The mentioned ostracon that dates to 300 BCE consists of only two lines that
read: kkrn lp lxnnyh / bcq "Thousand loaves of Hananyah / Dough"

Naveh suggests that this ostracon served as a label in a public (perhaps
military) bakery.  I think that the word "bcq" might also be construed as an
occupation - *baccaq "baker."  In this case I would read it: "Thousand Loaves
of Hananya / Baker"

The word kkr means "talent" (as in "talent of gold") in Aramaic.  The equivalent
word for "loaf" in Aramaic is +wlm? or pt?.  The word for dough in
Aramaic is ly$?.
A sherd inscribed bcq was also found at Masada.

Naveh allows a dating either to the later half of the 4th century or
beginning of the
3rd century BCE.  He compares the script with other ostracons and name lists
from the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE.

Yitzhak Sapir

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