[b-hebrew] sfat Kena`an

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Oct 27 11:57:12 EDT 2009


This may be a case where we agree to disagree, as there is no documentation
of exactly when was the fulfillment of these prophecies.

2009/10/26 Yigal Levin <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il>

> I disagree with Karl for two reasons. First, the context of Isaiah 19:18
> makes it clear that he envisioned a victory of Yahweh over Egypt.

This chapter deals with God’s judgment against Egypt. But when was it
fulfilled? Not during Isaiah’s lifetime. The fulfillment could have happened
during the Persian period when the שפת כנען was Aramaic. By using a
linguistically neutral term, whatever language used in Canaan at the time
the prophecy is fulfilled fits the term, and I mention Aramaic as a likely

> Clearly,
> this makes "Sefat Kena'an" the same as "Yehudit" - what we call Hebrew.

You are making an assumption I don’t think the text allows. Especially in
the light of Isaiah 36 which clearly happened during Isaiah’s lifetime where
the language of Judea was given in a completely different manner.

> … I also don't accept Karl's assumption that Hebrew
> was not spoken in Persian-Hellenistic Judea. There too, the Aramaic
> "takeover" seems to have been much more gradual.

This is not an assumption, rather a conclusion based on reading the text of
Tanakh,  seeing the changes that occurred between the pre-Babylonian Exile
writings and the post-Babylonian Exile writings. Of course I do not buy the
Documentary Hypothesis.

> As far as Randall's questions below about the relationship between
> "Canaanite" and "Hebrew", they are important historically, but less so for
> understanding Isaiah 19:18, since Isaiah's point-of-view was NOT one of
> historical linguistics.

Isaiah’s  point of  view was not linguistics, rather that יהוה is the God
who is the judge of all the nations of the world, not just of Judea. Just
like he will judge the U.S. and Europe for their wickedness, in the U.S. the
judgment has already started (details off topic for this list and I will not
spell them out on list).

> Yigal Levin

Karl W. Randolph.

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