[b-hebrew] Fwd: [amarna] Old West Semitic Words

Samuel Nunez samuelnunez1973 at sbcglobal.net
Mon Dec 17 14:47:06 EST 2012



Begin forwarded message:

> From: Samuel Nunez <samuelnunez1973 at sbcglobal.net>
> Date: December 17, 2012 10:28:02 AM PST
> To: JimStinehart at aol.com
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] [amarna] Old West Semitic Words
>
> Jim,
>
> I think there is evidence that the Torah could have been written by  
> using a type of Paleo-Hebrew alphabetic script.
>
> See Freedman, D. N., and K. A. Mathews. The Paleo-Hebrew Leviticus  
> Scroll. Winona Lake, Indiana, 1985.
>
> Samuel Nunez
> Carlsbad, CA
>
> On Dec 17, 2012, at 7:50 AM, JimStinehart at aol.com wrote:
>
>> Nir Cohen:
>>
>> 1.  You wrote:  “it is very difficult for me to accept a conjecture  
>> that the law of moses was written in any language but hebrew”
>>
>> It’s Hebrew, in the sense of west Semitic words that for the most  
>> part fit classic Biblical Hebrew perfectly.  But it’s such west  
>> Semitic words written in cuneiform, not using an alphabet.
>>
>> If you’re saying that the Patriarchal narratives were recorded in  
>> alphabetical Hebrew in the Bronze Age, that’s not possible.  Just  
>> look at how rudimentary the Qeiyafa Ostracon is.  There’s no way  
>> that the Qeiyafa Osatracon alphabet could have been used to record  
>> any significant portion of the sophisticated, complex Torah.  But  
>> if, on the other hand, you’re saying that the Patriarchal  
>> narratives weren’t recorded in writing at all until the Iron Age,  
>> that won’t work either, because of the pinpoint historically  
>> accurate details of the first Hebrews’ struggles in Years 12-14 of  
>> the Amarna Age that are faithfully recorded in the received text.   
>> The Amorite princeling ruler in Years 12-13 of the valley where the  
>> Patriarchs sojourned is given the apt Patriarchal nickname of  
>> “Mamre the Amorite”, and his historical name is honored and set  
>> forth in full at Genesis 46: 17:  MLK  -Y-  )L [Milk-i-Ilu].   
>> There’s no way that anyone in the exilic or post-exilic era could  
>> come up with details from Years 12-14 like that.
>>
>> No, all those details must have been recorded in the mid-14th  
>> century BCE by a contemporary, in cuneiform, using west Semitic  
>> words.  50 cuneiform tablets, weighing only about 15 pounds or so  
>> in total, would be sufficient to record the Patriarchal  
>> narratives.  One of the very earliest Hebrew traditions, then,  
>> dating all the long way back to the Late Bronze Age, would be that  
>> the Hebrews carted along with them those 50 tablets of sacred  
>> Hebrew scripture in a sacred chest, wherever they went.  No, we  
>> don’t have those 50 cuneiform tablets today, but we do have in the  
>> received text of the Patriarchal narratives how they were  
>> transformed into alphabetical Hebrew in the early 7th century BCE  
>> [with the poetry of Jacob’s Blessings having been put into  
>> alphabetical Hebrew earlier, as noted in #3 below].  The numbers,  
>> proper names, and substantive content in the received text of the  
>> Patriarchal narratives are all redolent of the first Hebrews’  
>> struggles to survive and maintain their homeland in the Amarna Age.
>>
>> 2.  In a later post you wrote:  “jim, the queiyafa ostracon is NOT  
>> in cuneiform.”
>>
>> That’s for sure!  And that, my good friend, is the point.  If you  
>> would look at Rollston’s fine article that I cited, you would see  
>> how rudimentary the alphabetic system of the Qeiyafa Ostracon was  
>> as of 1000 BCE.  Neither the Hebrew author of the Patriarchal  
>> narratives, nor Moses, could use such an inadequate writing system  
>> to record any substantial portion of the Torah.  Not.  Meanwhile,  
>> the most sophisticated and best writing system known to the ancient  
>> world was readily available to the early Hebrews:  cuneiform.  And  
>> we know from the Amarna Letters that cuneiform could easily be used  
>> to record west Semitic words.
>>
>> Forget the alphabet.  Think cuneiform!  That is, cuneiform used to  
>> record west Semitic pre-Biblical Hebrew words.  Cuneiform worked  
>> equally well to record west Semitic words, or Hurrian words, or  
>> Akkadian words.
>>
>> 3.  You wrote:  “cuneiforms were used in the entire region between  
>> egypt, turkey and the persian gulf as a means of diplomatic and  
>> logistic communication. most probably, they were legible (in  
>> canaan) only by a handful of scribes. it is even doubtful whether  
>> the local rulers who sent them could read them directly without the  
>> scribe's help.  quite on the contrary, religeous texts have always  
>> been written in the language of the people, so as to be understood  
>> by a large number of people.”
>>
>> Hello, hello?  King David’s scribe was of Hurrian ancestry, though  
>> his family had lived in Jerusalem for many generations.  His  
>> Hurrian ancestry meant that he knew cuneiform [the writing method  
>> in which Hurrian was recorded], but since he lived his whole life  
>> in Jerusalem he was bi-lingual in Canaanite/pre-Hebrew.  His name,  
>> $RYH, tells us the whole story.  In a Jerusalem dominated by  
>> Hurrians/“Jebusites”, King David had inherited a scribe of Hurrian  
>> ancestry whose family had lived in Canaan for many generations.   
>> His name, $RY-H at II Samuel 8: 17, is based on the following  
>> frequently-attested Hurrian man’s name:  $ar-ri-ia.   That would be  
>> recorded in early alphabetical Biblical Hebrew as $RY.  To that  
>> Hurrian base name is added a Semiticized -H ending, as with the  
>> names Araunah and Uriah.  In all three cases, that Semiticization  
>> shows that the man’s family, though of Hurrian origin, had long  
>> lived in Canaan.
>>
>> King David’s scribe $ar-ri-iah may indeed have been the scribe who  
>> advanced the alphabet enough, a mere 50 years or so after the  
>> dreadful Qeiyafa Ostracon, to be able to record Jacob’s Blessings  
>> [chapter 49 of Genesis] in alphabetical Hebrew.  By contrast, the  
>> non-poetical portions of the Patriarchal narratives were not  
>> transformed from cuneiform writing of west Semitic words into  
>> alphabetical Hebrew until the early 7th century BCE, when (i) the  
>> alphabet had greatly improved, (ii) there was more literacy, and  
>> (iii) most importantly, King Hezekiah desperately needed a  
>> religious boost for his devastated kingdom.  That’s why scholars  
>> tell us that the writing style, as to spelling and grammar, of  
>> Jacob’s Blessings is 11th-10th century BCE, whereas the writing  
>> style, as to spelling and grammar, of the rest of the Patriarchal  
>> narratives is 7th century BCE.
>>
>> See how everything makes logical sense?  Just think cuneiform, with  
>> cuneiform being used to write west Semitic words, and then  
>> everything falls right into place, just as it should.  The first  
>> written version of the Patriarchal narratives was really old,  
>> dating all the long way back to the mid-14th century.  It was  
>> written in cuneiform, using west Semitic/pre-Hebrew words that for  
>> the most part have a direct equivalent to Biblical Hebrew words.
>>
>> Jim Stinehart
>> Evanston, Illinois
>> _______________________________________________
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>> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
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>

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