[b-hebrew] Jerusalem

George Athas George.Athas at moore.edu.au
Thu Jul 8 02:30:54 EDT 2010

Yitzhak, I agree with you from a linguistic perspective that the dual form would be problematic considering that mem is part of the underlying root. However, did the Masoretes, or even Second temple Jews, know this? Were they familiar with the deity Shalim and his cult? I doubt it. So I think I differ from you on an historical basis here.

When you look at Greek transcriptions of the name ‘Jerusalem’ here’s what we find. The LXX (I’m including the whole Tanakh in this) transliterates the name as Ἰερουσαλήμ, a singular form. The LXX translations date to 3rd–2nd centuries BC. So, at that time, the city name was still a singular form. However, in apocryphal books and in the New Testament, the name gets transliterated as Ἱεροσόλυμα. Two things are notable here. Firstly, it’s now a plural form, perhaps reflecting an understanding of a Semitic dual. Secondly, the rough breathing at the beginning and the shift from ου to simple ο suggests that the name was being treated as a play on the word ἱερόν (temple). So, from the late 2nd century BC onwards, there is a significant shift in the way the name Jerusalem is seen. It is treated as a plural and as incorporating something about the temple.

Here are some suggestions to account for this shift.

 1.  As the temple complex became fortified in the Hasmonean Era, and then refurbished in the Herodian Era, the city of Jerusalem came to be seen as a dual entity: residential Jerusalem and temple Jerusalem. The temple area effectively became an acropolis—a citadel—which was treated differently from the rest of the city. (As a modern parallel, one might consider modern-day Rome and the Vatican.)
 2.  The משׁנה (‘second’ quarter) was deemed as a second city within an expanding Jerusalem, such that Jerusalem was viewed as a double-city.
 3.  Jerusalem within the walls was paired with the immediately surrounding area outside the walls, producing a dual entity. Someone more versed in Jewish halakhah might be able to tell us what Rabbinic Judaism viewed as constituting ‘Jerusalem’ or a Sabbath day’s walk (if that is relevant to the definition of the city).

Moore Theological College (Sydney, Australia)

From: Yitzhak Sapir <yitzhaksapir at gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 2010 02:36:53 +1000
To: B-Hebrew <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Jerusalem

Hello Will, Garth, and Uzi,

Uzi -- the dual interpretation is unlikely.  That is, the final Mem is
part of the
root word (as pointed out by others) which makes a dual reading problematic.
Probably the fact that a dual ending appears on many other place names
influenced the development of this pronunciation, though.  However, the
comparison to Jerubaal is appropriate.  Both Jerubaal and Jerusalem
are theophoric names, of the same prefix.  In the case of Jericho, we
have the root ירח -- the moon.   ,

As for the diphthong -- yes, a reading with a simple long [e:]/[ɛ:]/[æ:]
would be consistent with the evidence.  However, I think the use of a yodh
is telling.  In other examples where a long [i:] develops to a long [e:] such
as in the case of a participle [qo:te:l] (from [qa:ti:l]) we don't see a yodh.
Perhaps though there are similarly rare instances that have a yodh in
such participles.  Can anyone here check that up?

Furthermore, in words such as צבים the plural of original th'aby, giving
in Hebrew [-ajim] we find the spelling צבאים in 1 Chr 12:9.  This suggests
to me that for the Hebrew speaker -aji:- -a?i:- and perhaps -ai:- had merged
or become hard to distinguish.  So I think the use of a yodh in late 1st Mill
BCE spellings of Jerusalem indicates some kind of split vowel and possibly
a diphthong.  This might be something that would be recognized as a split
by the Hebrew speaker but not in Greek.  For example, [æɛ] [æ?ɛ] or even
[ææ] or [ɛɛ] (the last two indicating a split vowel but with a zero divider).

As for Vox Graeca, what does Allen mean when he uses the symbols
æ and ę to mean different vowels (seeing how he does not use IPA)?

Regarding long i: in the name Shali:m, see here:

The sentence "the yodh could be nothing more than a long i:" is not
meant to exclude any possibility including that it could represent a
long e:.  However, I think a long i: is unlikely because by the time
yodh appears we already have the Greek eta transcriptions.  I also
think e: is not the best explanation because as mentioned above
i: that became e: is not spelled with a yodh.

Yitzhak Sapir
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