[b-hebrew] Hebrew as a Spoken Language vs. Aramaic

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Mon Oct 29 20:14:04 EDT 2007

Dear Bryant:

On 10/29/07, Bryant J. Williams III <bjwvmw at com-pair.net> wrote:
> Dear Dave,
> ... Furthermore, it appears
> from Ruth that she understood and spoke Hebrew. Just from the conversations with
> Naomi and her husband, her deceased husband, Boaz, etc.
> Rev. Bryant J. Williams III
Ruth is a bad example, for a couple reasons:

1) she lived about 700 years before Ezra and Nehemiah, or over a
thousand years before Mishnaic Hebrew

2) she spoke Moabite, a language that even at the time of Mesha of the
Mesha Stele, the written evidence shows probably less difference
between Moabite than, let's say, Chicago and Mobile, or BBC English
and Cockney. So Ruth may not have had to learn Hebrew in order to
understand it. Or put in another way, there was less difference
between Moabite and Hebrew of her day, than the Hebrew of her day and
Mishnaic Hebrew.

The book of Ruth, though it is a simple narrative, shows linguistic
evidence of pre-Exile authorship, possibly David or before.

Karl W. Randolph.

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