[b-hebrew] Jerusalem

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Tue Jul 13 00:47:37 EDT 2010

<Posting my original reply to Garth on list>

Hello Garth,

Yes, I suggest that it might have entered the text through the original authors.
But this is not necessary.  It is just a possibility.

I have given you examples of this use of ירושלים in the DSS.  So it must have
begun before the Great Revolt.

Seghol is not short e.  A seghol is a lower e.  In Masoretic vocalization all
stressed vowels are long.  So a seghol in a stressed vowel is also long.
Different sources I have indicate varying vocalizations -
1) Always sere
2) Always seghol
3) A seghol in pausal forms and sere otherwise
For example, my concordance writes 'Always sere.  Some books have (3)
but there is no grounds for this in the Masora'.

I think you're letting the evidence get ahead of yourself when you suggest
that there are political grounds behind the change.  Even if the coins were
the first time we'd find this spelling archaeologically (which they aren't) this
doesn't mean this is the first attestation at all.  Also, usually spelling and
pronunciation changes come as a result of simple phonetic changes, and
are not politically motivated.

Regarding the DSS evidence please note the following section which
discusses the use of yodh for short vowels -
This includes for example (p 159)  -
Is 36:2 שדי כובס for שדה כובס
Is 37:19, 60:21 מעשי for מעשה
Is 65:10 נוי צואן for נוה צאן
In all these cases yodh comes in place of a seghol.

So a yodh does not necessarily indicate a long vowel rather than
short, and the pronunciation of Jerusalem in Aramaic is with a long
vowel in the final syllable.

Yitzhak Sapir

On Mon, Jul 12, 2010 at 8:56 PM, Garth Grenache
<garthgrenache at hotmail.com> wrote:
> Thanks Yitzhak for your excellent reply!
> So then, do you suppose that the longer spelling YRWShLYM entered the text
> of the Hebrew Bible by the original authors of Esther and 1Chronicles?  Or
> from a later scribe?
> When do you envisage this spelling coming into the Hebrew Bible?
> I notice in the ~66 C.E. coin, that the spelling is new, but the script is
> old!
> Is this the earliest known occurrence of this spelling?
> Is there reason to suggest that the spelling was much earlier?
> Actually, there is evidence for a short 'e' (segol) in the Aramaic
> pronunciation, in Dan 5:2; 5:3; 6:10; and in the Aramaic parts of Ezra.  It
> seems the Aramaic pronunciation found in the MT typically (maybe always?) is
> with a short 'e' in the last syllable.
> If the Jews of the revolt against Pagan lordship produced this spelling,
> YRWShLYM, it may have been to combat Pagan influence on the pronunciation of
> the word, to mark the final vowel as long, and not short as in Aramaic.
> Wasn't it all about taking Jerusalem back under Jewish rule?
> The use of the old 'paleo' script on their coins *5 centuries after it began
> to fall out of use* may likewise indicate an intentional resistance from
> Aramaic(pagan) influence.  [The square script which replaced the paleo
> script was taken from Aramaic writing.]
> "Our city! Our script! Our pronunciation!" maybe?
> Garth Grenache.
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