[b-hebrew] Tevel

John C.P. Smith jcpsmith at talk21.com
Fri Jun 15 16:14:49 EDT 2012



I am a new member of the B-Hebrew list. I hold a BA Hons degree in Hebrew
and Jewish History from University College London (1989-1993). I have taught
introductory–intermediate Biblical and Modern Hebrew. I write and teach
Hebrew word-studies, using BibleWorks 7 for my research.


Currently, in preparing an article on erets and tevel, with reference to
tevel I searched the internet for “tsere tsere vowel patterns” and came
across some correspondence on B-Hebrew last year (see below).


I have a few questions:

1)     Apart from tevel (36 occurrences in the Hebrew Bible), cheresh (9
occurrences), and Tevet (Esther 2:16), do you know of any other Biblical
Hebrew words (or even Modern Hebrew words) with the tsere-tsere vowel


2)     As a matter of interest, do you know of a program for searching on
vowel patterns (without consonants)? Or do I need to just manually read
through word lists?


3)     Tevel only ever occurs without the definite article. Is this unique?
Do you know of any other common nouns like this?


4)     What would you expect the construct state pattern to be for a
tsere-tsere noun? It’s not possible to compare with the other above Biblical
examples, since cheresh is an adjective and Tevet is a proper noun.
Personally, I would expect the first tsere to reduce to a voiced sheva,
hence, t'vel. Would you agree?


5)     Out of the 36 occurrences of tevel in the Bible, BibleWorks
identifies 3 as being in the construct state, Psalm 98:7 and 9 (both of
which appear to be erroneously labelled), and Proverbs 8:31 (literally,
"Rejoicing in tevel His erets. . .") which seems to me more likely to be in
the absolute state. In addition to Proverbs 8:31, F. Brown (The New
Brown–Driver–Briggs–Gesenius Hebrew and English Lexicon, Peabody,
Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1979) cites just one further
example of tevel in the construct state (p. 385): Job 37:12 (literally, ". .
. upon [the] face of tevel towards erets") which again seems to me more
likely to be in the absolute state. In other words, as far as I can tell
tevel doesn’t actually occur in the construct state. Would you agree?


6)     Nir Cohen says that tevel has “an astronomical connotation”. What do
you mean by this?


7)     Putting all of this evidence together, if confirmed by your answers
it seems to me that tevel is actually a proper noun (and not a common noun,
as it is usually listed in lexicons)—a poetic name for earth, in much the
same way in which we name the planets in the solar system, e.g. Jupiter and
Venus. Do you think that this is a possibility? Is so, do you know of any
other supporting evidence?


I would be extremely grateful for any response you are able to give, even a
brief one if you are busy.


Yours most sincerely,




John C.P. Smith

BA Hons, Hebrew and Jewish History (University College London, 1993)

United Kingdom


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I'm focusing my attention onto this word kind and not onto words with
Concerning nouns with tsere-tsere --------> there are more than those you
say. And so, XR$, deaf (Ex 4:11) and other that are not found in the Bible.
Now, nouns with tsere-segol I found recently the complete list of this noun
type -no matter they appear in the bible or not-. This list consists of
around 60 nouns and these are the ONLY to fit this vowel pattern within the
whole of the Hebrew language.
But I intended to find an answer to this question: is there a common
denominator to these 60 nouns?
As I wrote in a preceding post, I am ready to send that list to those who
are interested in the issue (preferably by private mail, unless moderators
of this forum think that it can be of a general interest for the list
Pere Porta
(Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain)
2011/5/3 Nir cohen - Prof. Mat. <nir at ccet.ufrn.br
<http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew> >
> dear pere,
> the type of questions you have been asking relate to post-masoretic
> i.e. involves shoresh AND niqud. there is nothing wrong with this, except
> (as is becoming clear (for me) from recent correspondence) you are
> considering
> a dialect consolidated over a very long time. so, i dont know
> if you can expect very clear-cut answers or a single logic behind the
> words.
> my best shot is this: words with cere-segol are true nouns derived from
> verbs, and allow the plural. they contain all 3 letters of a recognized
> hebrew root. and stress on the 1st syllable
> the small set of words with cere-cere may have originated from other word
> constructions which do not allow the plural: teveth (the name of a month),
> and
> tevel (there is only one...). they do not coincide with the three
> letters of a recognized hebrew root (unless the late TBL=spice is included
> as a root; even there, hebrew makes an exception and calls it TAVLIYN).
> and stress on the second syllable.
> what these alleged "other constructions" were, i cannot imagine. as i
> fail to see agriculture in the semitic (lunar!) months, i can only
> imagine TEVETH to have an astronomical connotation - by the way,
> so does TEVEL...
> i also wonder why you consider those and not, for example, segol-segol.
> best
> nir cohen
> >>>> De: Pere Porta <pporta7 at gmail.com
<http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew> >
> Cópia: Hebrew <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
<http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew> >
> Para: Randall Buth <randallbuth at gmail.com
<http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew> >
> Data: Fri, 29 Apr 2011 19:05:21 +0200
> Assunto: Re: [b-hebrew] Tevel vs Evel
> Dear b-hebrew listees,
> I'm doing a comparison between several noun types in order to make some
> systematization of their patterns.
> I find nouns consisting of three root letters with tsere in the first and
> tsere in the second.
> And so, TBL, world (Ps 19:5) or TB+, Tebeth (a month of the year) (Est
> 2:16)
> And I find nouns consisting of three root letters with tsere in the first
> but with segol in the second:
> )BL, mourning (2Sa 14:2)
> SFR, book (2Sa 1:18)
> $B+, tribe (Gn 49:10)
> Can anyone provide a good reason of this different pattern?
> I mean: not *"the Hebrew language is like this*", but, so to say, an
> "internal" reason.
> --Have nouns tsere-tsere a feature common to all them?
> --Have nouns tsere-segol a feature common to all them, a common
> denominator?
> --Could we, given this and this and this root consonants, know in advance
> which pattern (tsere-tsere or tsere-segol) the resulting noun would fit if
> both vowel sounds are to be 'e'?
> Friendly,
> Pere Porta
> (Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain)
> _______________________________________________
> b-hebrew mailing list
> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
Pere Porta


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