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

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Thu Jul 11 11:24:57 EDT 2013


On Wed, Jul 10, 2013 at 6:26 PM, Jerry Shepherd <jshepherd53 at gmail.com>wrote:

> Jerry: When I say that the Masoretic notation does not reflect their own
> time and place, I mean that there is nothing innovative in what they do.

Is there anyone on this list who disagrees with this?

>   Their sole innovation is to create a system of marks to indicate the
> sounds and grammar of a tradition that was handed down to them.  But in
> terms of the actual sounds and grammar, they did not innovate; they
> preserved what was handed down to them.

This is what I have repeatedly claimed.

>   There was less than a millennium between the time of the writing of the
> last book of the Hebrew Bible and the work of the Masoretes which began
> about 600 CE.

Lessee, the last of the Biblical books was written about 400 BC according
to the trustworthy histories I have read, and the Masoretes according to
the date you give above making the time from the last of the Biblical books
to the Masoretes about 400 + 600 = 1000. And the evidence at that time is
that Jews had ceased speaking Hebrew as their native tongue, rather spoke
Aramaic and learned Hebrew in order to study their sacred texts and for
official documents.

>   Of course the dating of the biblical books themselves is notoriously
> difficult; but I think it is important to note that books that may have
> been written during pre-exilic times, probably went through and editing and
> updating process in the post-exilic period, but the post-exilic period is
> still within the biblical period.

Please explain “but the post-exilic period is still within the biblical

>   So I am prepared to argue that the forms of the biblical books as they
> existed in the post-exilic period are still largely preserved in the
> Masoretic text, and that the pronunciation of the biblical text during the
> post-exilic period largely continues through the next generations of
> scribes and on down to the Masoretes.

As far as the consonantal text, and apart from a few scribal errors, that
seems to be the case. No argument there.

> Will: I think I agree to a certain extent with Karl on this (at least about
> the Aramaic part - not so much the Greek part).  The pronunciation of
> Hebrew must have evolved after the Exile along with Aramaic, and I
> can't help but think the pronunciation of Hebrew as finally codified
> by the Masoretes owes a lot to developments in Aramaic.
> Jerry: But these developments begin in the biblical period.  Additionally,
> things are complicated by our basic ignorance as to how soon or how
> dominantly Aramaic overtook Hebrew as the primary spoken language.  In any
> case, the sooner the Aramaic dominance is recognized to have taken place,
> the greater the likelihood that the tradition handed down by the scribes
> accurately reflects the state of the Hebrew text and pronunciation during
> the post-exilic period.

??? Do you mean that the sooner the Aramaic dominance occurred, the more
likely that the late Biblical era found Hebrew already pronounced as bad

> Blessings,
> Jerry
> Jerry Shepherd
> Taylor Seminary
> Edmonton, Alberta
> jshepherd53 at gmail.com
> Karl W. Randolph.
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