[b-hebrew] Ex 6:6 hiphil imperative 'bring'

Dave Washburn davidlwashburn at gmail.com
Wed Jul 10 12:03:53 EDT 2013


On Wed, Jul 10, 2013 at 4:37 AM, K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com> wrote:

>
> Years ago, I saw a history book on Nineva that mentioned that the contacts
> with Israel transliterated the Hebrew names with all consonants followed by
> vowels. Waltke and O’Connor mention that apparently the Amarna letters,
> archeologically dated to the Divided Kingdom period, indicated that the
> speech in Israel had every consonant followed by a vowel. Reading poetry
> gives a rhythm when read with every consonant starting a syllable. The
> Masoretic points have a different pattern.
>

The biggest problem with this kind of evidence is the fact that we're
transliterating the written form from an alphabetic script to a syllabic
one. What it actually indicates is that the writers using Akkadian script
didn't have a good way to indicate a closed syllable. Given the nature of
Akkadian script, this should come as no surprise. But it's also going to be
of very little value in telling us whether Hebrew did in fact have closed
syllables at those times in its history. That's the nature of the Akkadian
beast, and I have a problem with taking it as prima facie evidence that
Hebrew was much more syllabic than we thought. It seems to me that we're
putting a square peg in a round hole, and then declaring that yes, the
round peg has parallel sides, just like the square one. I don't really buy
it.

-- 
Dave Washburn

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