[b-hebrew] b-hebrew Digest, Vol 58, Issue 18

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Sat Oct 20 19:03:44 EDT 2007


Yigal,

You are right. Still here is a detailed story of a simple [very]  
young Hebrew man, the son of simple God fearing people, freely  
interacting with the Philistines [and their daughters]. It is, of  
course, possible that Samson, after years of dealing with them  
learned their language and that the famous, remarkably worded, XIDAH  
is given to us in translation. It is also possible that the town of  
TIMNATAH was a mixed town. But it is equally possible that the  
Philistines spoke a Hebrew dialect.
As far as I can recall not one of their names, including that of  
DAGON their god, is unmistakably non Semitic.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Oct 20, 2007, at 4:38 PM, Yigal Levin wrote:

> In the Bible, or at least most of it, everyone speaks good Hebrew.  
> So do the
> Egyptians in Genesis and Exodus, the Midianites in Exodus and  
> Judges, the
> Moabites in Judges, Arameans in Kings, all of the sailors and the  
> people of
> Nineveh in Jonah and so on. This is just one more indication that the
> biblical authors did not intend to write word-for-word historical  
> accounts
> of actual events - they had messages to get across, and wanted those
> messages to be as clear as possible to their intended audience -  
> who of
> course spoke Hebrew. Only in those few places in which the foreigners'
> language was a part of the story did the writers make an effort to  
> make them
> sound foreign.
>
> As far as Yaakov's mention of the Ekron Inscription, Achish ben  
> Padi's use
> of the title Sar rather than Melekh can be explained in three ways,  
> none of
> them really satisfactory:
>
> 1. As Yaakov suggested, a throwback to what is presumably the old  
> Philistine
> title Seren, used in the Bible for the rulers of the five major  
> Philistine
> cities, and often thought to be connected to the Greek Tyranos. The  
> problem
> with this is both the use of Sin and not Samekh, but more so the  
> missing
> Nun.
>
> 2. Using Sar, which in Hebrew/Canaanite is a lower rank than Melekh  
> (king),
> because the Philistines were subsurvient to the Assyrian Melekh  
> (king). The
> problem with this is that the Assyrians themselves, in inscriptions  
> by both
> Sennacherib and Essarhadon, had no problem with referring to both  
> Padi and
> Achish (Ikaysu) by the title "king" (Sharru in Akkadian). So why would
> Achish feel obligated to use a lesser title?
>
> 3. The use of "Sar" is actually an adoption of the Akkadian  
> "Sharru" used by
> the Assyrian overlords. Possible, but if so then unique.
>
> Yigal Levin
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Yaakov Stein" <yaakov_s at rad.com>
> To: "Isaac Fried" <if at math.bu.edu>
> Cc: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Saturday, October 20, 2007 8:44 PM
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] b-hebrew Digest, Vol 58, Issue 18
>
>
>>> What is in interesting in the story of judges 14 is that the
>>> Philistines appear to have spoken good Hebrew.
>>
>> I don't know much about the language they spoke in the time of Samson
>> (12th century or so BCE?)
>> but in an 8th century BCE inscription found in Ekron
>> (published by Gitin, Dothan and Naveh)
>> the language is very close to Hebrew.
>>
>> Interestingly the word &R is used for king instead of MLK,
>> which seems to be in line with the bible's usage of SRN
>> and &R (in Sam1).
>>
>> Yaakov (J) Stein
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