[b-hebrew] $ADAI

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Thu Mar 27 18:44:41 EDT 2008


Jim,

If you question the Masoretes' pointing of the name SARAY, then you  
should, by the same logic, question also the editor(s) of the Hebrew  
bible on his choice of the letter sin. After all, the name of the  
first lady was not copied from a birth certificate. We easily imagine  
that when confronted with the choice of samek versus sin he readily  
discarded the odious samek-resh for the noble sin-resh, making her an  
instant princess.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Mar 27, 2008, at 12:41 PM, JimStinehart at aol.com wrote:

>
> Yitzhak Sapir:
>
> Thank you for the references to Rebecca Hasselbach’s scholarly article
> concerning the “-ay” ending in Hebrew.
>
> But why would Rebecca Hasselback, or anyone else, think that the  
> Masoretes,
> in the Middle Ages, would know how to recognize and point an “-ay”  
> ending?  In
> your own words, “it was a very ancient development”, by which I  
> presume you
> mean that it happened long prior to the mid-1st millennium BCE for  
> certain,
> and likely prior to 1200 BCE.  How would the Masoretes, in the  
> Middle Ages, be
> picking up on this truly ancient phenomenon?
>
> When I look at sin-resh-yod in unpointed text, I see no “-ay”  
> ending there
> at all.  How did the Masoretes in the Middle Ages know that there  
> was an “-ay”
> ending there?
>
> I note that you yourself properly refer to a “-y” ending, when you  
> say that “
> It is therefore reasonable that –y is indeed an archaic feminine  
> suffix….”
>
> But I myself see sin-resh-yod in unpointed text at Genesis 12: 15,  
> referring
> to Pharaoh’s male top officers in the plural, which is not an  
> abstract noun,
> and which does not have an archaic feminine suffix.  Why would the  
> Masoretes,
> in the Middle Ages, know that sin-resh-yod as Sarah’s birth name was
> fundamentally different?
>
> Looking on the bright side of things, if we take your argument  
> seriously,
> would that imply that the Patriarchal narratives are much older  
> than the rest of
> the Bible?  After all, if Sarah’s birth name is “Sarai” (on the  
> theory that
> the Masoretes in the Middle Ages by some miracle got this ancient  
> feminine
> suffix just right), and if no other woman’s name in the entire  
> Bible has this
> archaic feminine suffix ending, then wouldn’t that strongly imply  
> that the
> Patriarchal narratives are much, much older than the rest of the  
> Bible?
>
> Despite the fact that such a consequence would greatly help my  
> overall view
> of the Patriarchal narratives, I myself simply cannot get over the  
> hump of
> trying to convince myself that the Masoretes in the Middle Ages  
> somehow knew how
> to recognize a truly ancient archaic feminine suffix.
>
> Is it your considered opinion that Sarah’s birth name is truly  
> ancient, long
> pre-dating the mid-1st millennium for sure, and likely pre-dating  
> 1200 BCE?
> Does that then knock out JEPD as the original authors of the  
> Patriarchal
> narratives?  Does this put historical linguists at loggerheads with  
> all the
> non-linguist scholars who insist, on a seemingly semi-unanimous  
> basis, that the
> Patriarchal narratives are just one of many parts of the Bible  
> composed by JEPD in
> the mid-1st millennium BCE?
>
> What’s a pre-1200 BCE archaic feminine suffix doing in a mid-1st  
> millennium
> BCE composition by JEPD?
>
> Yitzhak Sapir, you’ve got our heads spinning here.  Are you  
> claiming that
> Sarah’s birth name is truly ancient, embodying an archaic feminine  
> suffix not
> seen in any other woman’s name in the entire Bible?  How could JEPD  
> come up with
> such an ancient name, from many centuries before their time?  Were  
> JEPD really
> that crafty?  And how did those Masoretes in the Middle Ages  
> recognize this
> truly ancient feminine suffix?
>
> Jim Stinehart
> Evanston, Illinois
>
>
>
>
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