[b-hebrew] Fw: Job 38:8 ??

David Kolinsky hadeesh at sbcglobal.net
Tue Dec 4 15:37:41 EST 2012

Karl and Chavoux,

First, let me apologize.  My son had a febrile seizure last night and we spent 
most of the night in the ER.  He is and will be OK - thank G-d.
I am a bit wiped out today and will not really be able to give this discussion 
alot of further attention.

I think we are working on a very limited amount of data.  Although, I agree with 
Karl that the Siboleth / Shibolet issue is a play on dialectical differences.  I 
also believe that there is a much deeper spiritual play on words there.  
Siboleth means something like "burden" and Shibolet means something like 
"path."  So which do you consider the path of haShem, a burden and you die, a 
path and you successfully pass through.  Personally, no matter how challenging 
life tends to be, I consider it a path!

Thanks for your patience,
David Kolinsky
Monterey, CA

From: K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com>
To: David Kolinsky <hadeesh at sbcglobal.net>
Cc: B-Hebrew <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tue, December 4, 2012 11:10:19 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Fw: Job 38:8 ??


On Mon, Dec 3, 2012 at 2:05 PM, David Kolinsky <hadeesh at sbcglobal.net> wrote:

>I am not convinced that the Sin and the Shin were pronounced the same in 
>Biblical times.

I noticed that there are examples like $M “there, that place” coming from %YM 
“to place” and other words sometimes spelled with a sin, sometimes with a shin, 
but because this was never a research program I didn’t work up a list of these 
    But there is reasonable evidence that the letter for Het was used for two 
different sounds (Het and Chet) and that the letter for Ayin (Ayin and Gayin) 
also (ex: Gamorra and Gaza).

I don’t see any evidence for these within Biblical Hebrew. Rather I suspect that 
these speculations come from post-Biblical Hebrew and/or cognate languages.
  I believe that the Shin probably was for "Sh" and that when it was pronounced 
Sin that that was very similar to a voiceless alveolar lateral fricative.

I see no evidence that they were pronounced differently until during and after 
the Babylonian Exile, which would mean that Aramaic speaking Jews imported these 
distinctions from Aramaic.

>Curious, what is the evidence that the Samekh was like an "X"?

I noticed that in the name “Artaxerxes” that the second “X” is spelled with a 
Samekh in Ezra and Nehemiah. The first “X” is spelled with a softer gutteral, a 
Chet, followed by a Sin, which would have sounded like an “X” to Greek ears.

Incidentally, Ezra spelled “Artaxerxes” with two Sins in Aramaic, suggesting 
that perhaps that Aramaic didn’t have a “X” phoneme at that time? And as Jews 
grew up speaking Aramaic without a “X” phoneme that they changed the Samekh to a 
Sin pronunciation.

>David  Kolinsky
>Monterey, CA

Karl W. Randolph. 
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