[b-hebrew] Genesis 41: 37: What Foreign Language Is That?

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Mon Nov 26 10:58:27 EST 2007

Yitzhak Sapir:
Thank you so very, very much for your patience in explaining the Aramaic 
analysis of "sahaduta" at Genesis 31: 47.
1.  Now I see that if one (i) goes to The Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon and 
(ii) types in the four letters shdw, one gets the Aramaic word "sahduta".  
Several meanings are given for this Aramaic word.  The first is "testimony".  
Another definition given is "evidence of virginity".  (I believe that in Hurrian, 
the literal meaning of "sa-ha-du-tta" is "I am pure".)  See Peter Bekins' post 
on this Aramaic word at that site, which gives more details.
2.  Interestingly, the Aramaic word "sahduta" is a 3-syllable word, whereas 
the traditional English transliteration at Genesis 31: 47 is a 4-syllable word: 
 "sahaduta".  (Hurrian words [which often seem more like phrases than 
individual words] are often 4 syllables or longer in length, whereas words as long as 
4 syllables are rare in Hebrew and, I believe, in Aramaic.)
3.  The Aramaic word "sahduta" contains the definite article "-a" at the end. 
 In the Hebrew word "galeed" at Genesis 31: 47, however, no definite article 
is used.  (Absent the "-a" at the end, "sahaduta" would not work as a Hurrian 
word.  One of the most typical Hurrian endings is "-tta", such as in 
"Tushratta", where such ending means "I" or "me".  A word of four syllables or more 
that ends in "-tta" is very typical for a Hurrian word.)
4.  If we ignore questions of the historical time period, on a linguistic 
basis the word "sahaduta" sees to make sense either as a Hurrian word 
(sa-ha-du-tta), or as an Aramaic word (sahduta).
Thanks again for your great help and expertise in explaining the Aramaic 
basis of the word "sahaduta" at Genesis 31: 47.  I hope and trust that I am not 
the only person on this b-Hebrew list who has benefited greatly from your 
detailed Aramaic explanation and expertise.  Much appreciated.
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

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