[b-hebrew] Hebrew as a spoken language

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Sat Oct 27 11:17:37 EDT 2007


Uri:

On 10/27/07, Uri Hurwitz <uhurwitz at yahoo.com> wrote:
>  Karl,
>
>     You made the following point:
>
>   "As far as modern researchers, who is more trustworthy: those who were
> there at that time, or those who try to reconstruct events later?"
>
>   Without dismissing the unquestionable importance of ancient resources,
>   including the HB, modern researchers have many more tools at their
>   disposal for reconstructing various periods of the past.
>
But modern researchers have far less material with which to work.

I go back to the example as it was told me concerning the
Peloponnesian War: modern researchers have been unable to find any
information on it from archeology, only from written records.
Likewise, would a 70 year hiatus of occupation show up in the
archeological record, or would that be too short of a time? I suspect
the latter.

>      Your other point is well taken. However, when mentioning the verse in
>   II Kings,  I  wanted to demonstrate that ancient memories were clear
>   about the fact that the Neo-Babylonians did not exile everybody.

I specifically mentioned that some went willingly, just did not
mention that they went to Egypt instead of Babylon.

>   As for what happenned during that period of occupation, I prefer
>   the results of modern research; I did mention an important resource
>   previously.
>
Yes you did, but for the reasons I mention above, I find I prefer the
ancient records.

>      To return to what started this exchange  -- when Hebrew stopped
>   being spoken-- I repeat my reference to Mishnaic Hebrew. This  later
>   stage of the language, whose written marks can already be found in
>   Qohelet and elsewhere, cannot have been only an artifically invention.
>
Nobody on this list contends that Mishnaic Hebrew was an artificial
invention. All some of us say is that it is a natural development in
the same way as medieval Latin was a natural development of imperial
Latin.

Stylistically, Qohelet is consistent with pre-Exile writing with its
complex allusions. It does not have that simplicity and directness
found in Biblical post-Exile writings.

If one wants to point to writing transitioning to Mishnaic Hebrew,
Chronicles is a perfect example: its writing is noticeably different
in orthography from other Biblical books.

>     Those interested in the development of spoken Hebrew would
>   do well to familiarize themselves with Mishnaic Hebrew.
>
>
>    Uri   Hurwitz                                                           Great Neck, NY
>
Karl W. Randolph.



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