[b-hebrew] Ssade Can Be Emphatic Sin

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Mon Nov 19 16:35:07 EST 2012

Ssade Can Be Emphatic  Sin 
As noted in my prior post, in early Biblical  Hebrew ssade/C can be 
emphatic sin.  The most obvious example of that is that the name “Isaac” and the 
verb  “to laugh” start out in the Bible being spelled with ssade/C, but in 
late books  in the Bible, both are instead spelled with a  sin/%. 
Here’s another indication that ssade could  be emphatic sin.  In a post on 
ANE-2  on December 26, 2006, Yitzhak Sapir noted:  “Ezra 4:1 calls the 
"elite (Heb: s'ry [%RY]) of Judah and Benjamin" as  "Enemies (Heb: cry [CRY]) of 
Judah and Benjamin".  In other words, a Sin becomes a  Sade.  It is clear 
that mockery is  involved, but what is also quite impressive is that the two 
letters hark back to  very similar phonemes in Proto-Semitic.” 
Now consider a third example of this same  phenomenon.  II Samuel 8: 3 has  
LH%YB with a sin/% (or shin), as opposed to I Chronicles 18: 3, which has 
LYCYB  with a ssade/C. 
So there is a fair amount of Biblical  evidence that ssade could be 
emphatic sin, with ssade/C having a sound quite  similar to sin/%.  That’s a key 
part  of the basis for comments one often sees like the  following: 
“The languages of the Semitic family share a  number of features.  One of 
them is  phonetic, involving:  (a) the  recognition of emphatic forms for 
some consonants -- for example, the Hebrew  ssade being the emphatic form of 
the sin or samekh….”  Kamal Suleiman Salibi, The  Historicity of Biblical 
Israel (1998), p,  10. 
Jim  Stinehart 
Evanston,  Illinois
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