[b-hebrew] Genesis 31: 47: What Foreign Language is That?

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Mon Nov 19 11:40:18 EST 2007

Yitzhak Sapir: 
I asked:  “What language is "yegar sahaduta" at Genesis 31: 47?  Is it 
Hurrian?  Is it   Aramaic?  Are these Hurrian words  written in Aramaic?  Or is this 
 classic Aramaic, with  no Hurrian influence?” 
In response, you wrote:  “It is Aramaic.  I doubt that there  is 'Hurrian 
This is a very important issue to me, but I do not know  how to research it. 
Do you know of any Internet sites, articles, or books  that discuss this 
specific question in some detail?  I have seen one-sentence comments that  this is 
Aramaic, but nothing more in-depth than  that. 
    1.  Are these classic Aramaic words, which appear to show  no Hurrian or 
other ancient influence?
    1.  Is there a major split of opinion among secular  scholars on this 
issue, or is it an open and shut  case?
I have seen secular scholars make seemingly every  possible argument that the 
Patriarchal narratives were composed in the  1st millennium BCE, not the 2nd 
millennium BCE.  But I have never seen a secular scholar  cite Genesis 31: 47 
in that connection.  If these words are classic Aramaic words, that did not 
exist until 1100  BCE at the very earliest, why then wouldn’t they be Exhibit A 
in the secular  scholarly argument that the Patriarchal narratives are a 1st  
millennium BCE composition? 
That is one reason why I suspect that it is not a  clear-cut case that these 
are classic Aramaic words, showing no Hurrian or other  ancient influence. 
But if I’m wrong in my hunch, I’ll give up this  argument.  Can you cite any 
detailed  discussions of this particular issue? 
If these are classic Aramaic words, showing no Hurrian or  other ancient 
influence, then my theory of the case has a significant problem  here.  So any 
scholarly cites (not  just one-sentence conclusions) you may have as to this 
issue would be greatly  appreciated.  Have scholars examined  whether these may be 
Hurrian words and concluded that they are not Hurrian  words? 
Jim Stinehart 
Evanston, Illinois

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