[b-hebrew] Jerusalem

Garth Grenache garthgrenache at hotmail.com
Sat Jul 10 02:08:02 EDT 2010

Dear Yitzhak and all,

I am delighted to see that this discussion has been fruitful.

We seem to agree that Semitic short i is often lengthened to e: in Hebrew.
We agree that qa:tilu is behind Hebrew qo:te:l,
and that -shalim is behind Yerushalem (e.g. Gk/Aramaic/old short Heb spelling).

While Aramaic Sheyol has consonantal 'y' instead of aleph,
and sometime Mikayel can be likewise spelled,
when Micha'el, Salathi'el and Gabri'el are spelled with both alpha and then yodh,
it can hardly mean that a consonantal 'y' has replaced the consonantal aleph which is still present, can it?

In pre-exilic times, maters were typically only used at the ends of words.
Thus pre-exilic spellings like BYT 'beyth', YWM 'yom', didn't originally contain maters.  
Rather they were bayt- and yawm- as they still are in Arabic and some forms of Aramaic today.

In post-exilic times, however, there is an increasing use of maters WITHIN words. 
In the consonantal MT they are usually only used for long vowels,
but in later works such as the DSS, w or y can be used even to represent short vowels.
There are even places where w represents what in MT is a shwa.

Therefore the impression you have, Yitzhak, is of something real, when you say: 
> My impression is that in Hebrew, the yodh is not used for
> a tsere unless it originates in a consonantal yodh such as
> *ay.  Maybe I am just missing some rare examples.

Of pre-exilic spellings you can almost be certain that every y or w in the middle of a word
was once a consonanantal y or w, or a diphthong.  And most spellings didn't change since
then until the completion of the consonantal text.

But in the latter post-exilic books, the increasingly more common orthography of using medial maters
occassionally influences the spelling of words with long e:, long i: and long o: causing them to be
written with w or y to represent these long vowels.
Dawi:d is one example which was pre-exilicly spelled DWD, but post-exilicly the i: is sometimes represented with y.

No doubt Aramaic orthography is a major influence in this more 'full' spelling of words.

My reason for bringing up this topic was to establish that Jerusalem was originally -LM, not -LaYiM,
and I am satisfied that this was generally the case until well into the 1st Mill CE,

*Even post-exilic books only rarely include the second 'y',
*This reflects e: as the medial matre y represents a long i: in Dawi:d, and a long e: in CE. Peshitta Micha'e:l, Gabri'e:l, Shlti'e:l, etc.
*Both LXX and Gk NT have -LE:M, whereas -aim for words which were originally -ayim/-aym, eg. Ephraim.

[Personally, the -ayim pronunciation marks a divergence from that pronunciation which was used by the prophets and apostles of my 1st century faith.]

Garth Grenache,

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