[b-hebrew] yamim or yamin?

Bryan Cox b_coxus at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 10 14:19:53 EDT 2008

Thanks, Ken, for the references.  Unfortunately, it will be a while before my next seminary library excursion (they're just far enough away that I have to plan my trips), and you would know that the online preview just happens to exclude page 13.

A brief summary would really interesting to me if you have the time for it.

Is this interchange of 'nun' and 'mem' in Hebrew due to the influence of Aramaic?  I wonder since it seems that the texts that contain this interchange of letters are relatively late.  Otherwise, I'd guess it's just because the 'mem' and 'nun' can sound similar and that corruption/confusion 'just happened' over time. Anyway, thanks again for the references.  I'll look them up when I next get the chance.


--- On Thu, 7/10/08, Ken Penner <ken.penner at acadiau.ca> wrote:
You're right about this feature in the DSS. The Nun where BH has Mem is not
terribly surprising. See E. Qimron, _The Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls_,
section 200.142. Qimron refers to Kutscher's _Studies in Galilean Aramaic_,
58-68; _The Language and Linguistic Background of the Great Isaiah Scroll_, 16,
91, 518.

For an online reference to this feature in RH see page 13 of Perez
Ferndandez' grammar http://books.google.com/books?isbn=9004109048

Ken M. Penner, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
St. Francis Xavier University
kpenner at stfx.ca

-----Original Message-----
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Bryan Cox
Sent: July 10, 2008 10:17 AM
To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [b-hebrew] yamim or yamin?

A 'newly discovered' ancient text nicknamed 'Gabriel's
Vision' or 'Gabriel's Revelation' is
currently grabbing headlines.  Its controversial nature lies in the phrase
l'shloshet yamin, or 'in three days'.
My question is about the 'nun'.  Searching the text of the Hebrew
Bible, I only ever find 'yamim' (ending in a 'mem').  Where
does the word 'days' end in a 'nun' as in 'yamin'?
Aramaic has a 'yamin', ending in 'nun', but if the
'new' text is written in Aramaic, I would expect the 'three' to
also be written in Aramaic as 'thalatha' (or somewhat similar
My suspicion is that during the time period in question, 1st century BCE,
'mem' and 'nun' were often interchanged in texts, at least I
believe I may have read something along these lines about the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Is this suspicion correct, or could 'yamin' actually be the word
'right' or is there something odd here?
Thanks much for any clarification!
Bryan Cox

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