John Nigel Courtenay James.

The language of Palestine and adjacent regions online

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maritan, and both resembled Phoenician. Thus it was the
Hebrews, and not the Samaritans, who changed their alphabetic
characters. The Samaritans retained the older Semitic forms,
while the Hebrews adopted the so-called ' Babylonian ' type.
This change of handwriting began during the Exile, and was
encouraged after the return, perhaps by Ezra. That the
letters and general character of the Aramaic language entered
upon a period of change from the time of Ezra is proved by
all the literary remains. In the fifth century B.C., as shown
by the Egyptian Papyri, the writing had advanced from the
rectangular form on the stone inscriptions towards the later
square character. The tendency of the writing was decidedly
towards a more cursive or freehand, rather than the rigid
lapidary type. Curved lines already appear in these papyri,
which are absent from the older monuments. Distinctive

' The following selection of letters will illustrate :

I'lioen. Aram. Mod. Square.

A, ~I -,

H 1 >

B h n

t ^ n

14



210



THE LANGUAGE OF PALESTINE



final letters had not yet found permanency .1 The matres
Icciionis aie sometiines^ omitted in the papyri, as in the later
Targiims. The insertion of the matres Icdionis appears to
have been a matter of some indifference all through the history
of Aramaic literature. These papyri show that the distinc-
tion between 1 and •> was already clearly marked, and we can-
not suppose that the distinction was afterwards obliterated.^

There is no reference to the form of the letters in any of
the ancient data. The passage in Ezelciel respecting the Tav ,
or mark does not help us to understand the form of this
letter, even if a letter be meant.' The verb nin means to
mark, write, sign, and does not appear in inscriptions or
papyri. The phrase concerning David is doubtful : -fij; m'l
nin!)!, ■ and he made marks on the doors.' The common
translation is ' scrabbled,' which is probably most appropriate
if tlie verb be retained.* The word is found as a noun in
Job, 'in, and means ' my (written) mark,' that is, ' my

' Those seem first to l>econie distinct in the Nabiitfienn inscriptions,
1-100 A. l>. Cf . Eating's Table of Characters, col. 5, at end of Niildcke,
Syriitc Grammar.

' Dalnian (Worfn, pp. 5-6) Ba3'S that vav and i/od were both represented
liy a long perpendicnlar stroke, and that yotl with its hook was really
longer than vav. This statement is disproved by the Tables of Euting
{loc. cit.). There is an interesting, though perple.xing, reference to yod in
the Assnan Papyri (K. 4, 5. KiV/e Ed. note, p. 48). The text appears to
read : itdik Kipn nn-jc jd-d .it Sp n':e iv, ' a yod I have tattooed on Ids
riglit li.and, the writing being tattooed in Aramaic' It is to be noticed :
(a) The Jewish writing in Egypt was alphabetic, not liieroglypliic ; (6) it
was called 'Aramaic,' not nni.T pu-S ; (c) one letter was called 'yod.' We
may infer that at this early period the .'Vranialc alphabet already attained
the general characteiistics with which we become acquainted later. That
yod was not always the smallest letter in the Aramaic dialects, nor always
the smallest in different scripts of the same dialect, Is quite evident. Its
form in some of the Nabataean scripts (e.g. El-Ifejra, CIS ii. 200) is written
in plena and is unnsual. It has two parts — its main down-stroke and its dis-
tingnishing head-stroke. The apex or crescent-like line formed two horns,
and (by the gradual crumpling up of the tail) finally became the character-
istic expression of the letter (cf. illns. p. 230). Is there any connexion be-
tween the proverbial reference to the •n' and the ppi and the original of this
one letter ? Did the two Kipara become the one Wro ? Is this whj' Luke
(16") mentions the Ktpola only, and Matthew (5") the Wra only (possibly)?
In the latter Gospel fi iiia. Kcpala may be a later editor's harmonizing gloss.

' Ezck. 9* : D'cjNn ninsn-'^y in n'ln.ii, ' and thou shalt mark a mark (? cross)
upon the foreheads of the men.'

* 1 S. 21" : M.any scholars jsrefer qm, ' and he drummed,' ' slammed.'



:.fi



■^



f



ARAMAIC 2]

signature," my attestation.' 1 Jerome, referring to the passa

™Xtr'f ""f { ''"' ''' ^"^ evLnce f'o
Stm i! ? ' ^°"" "^ '^' ^'"' ^"- "'«'•* -«« "-t of a cro,

roim ot lav was a cross.^



Ill
LETTERS AS SYMBOLS

The making of a X as a substitute for a name dates fro.
very early .mes. At the Council of Chalcedon some o ft
bishops, unable to write their names, put the sign of the Cro*
on the decretal docun.ents. In the apocalyptic literature
mark appears to represent a name, either on the hand or tL
orehead. According to the Targumof Jonathan ben Uzzie
the mark g.ven to Cain was from the great and sacred nam,
probably one of the letters of the word n,nv* Som
ralmudists say that the sign was the letter Tav (ol
Hebrew = X) marked on his forehead. This is quite unlikeh
inasmuch as the original text should be rendered ■ ' The Lo,'
appointed to Cain a token.' That is, Cain had some assuranc
that he should not die by the hand of another" The use c
letters for names and numbers need not be considered her.
but would require discussion in any attempt to explain th
cryptic reference in the Apocalypse to r^ Svof^a rov Ovpi'ov
rov aptOfxav tov hvSfiaro^ ainov.^

The symbolic and mystical use of letters is possibl
• Job .31» : .,r,n, ' Lo, I pledge n.yself.' or ' Behold, here is ,ny bond.''

+ ,'^^'"'°"°"">™'^"'' - «f°""-l= X (Moab.St.,SiIoa„.i„scrip.,
t (CIS .. 5) ; J* (CIS .. 106, et al.) ; Y j (CIL viii. 793 , CIS i 149, ,
son.e Aran,, inscrip. the forn, is / (Zenjirii : mrab); this, too is the for.
on some Hasmonaean coins. ' '"'^'

' Apoc. 13"- •' 20<, cf. 14' 22*.

'Gen. 4": in early Heb. the characters would be ^-rsfff T.
.n.tial yod could be written for the sacred name is probable I H.i m
exp anafon of the reference to yod in the As.nan pij" (K 4 ' 5)' "'

1 lie Heb. is : mn paS .lin- Dto-i So T VY . ir„i la

;.Apoc .3". T.Ji;.f ,:it.r^^s^S"rf;„„zr;.:Ln;:

earliest I'hoen. inscrip. Various signs are used for numbers



212



THE LANGUAGE OF PALESTINE



ip«



found ill some iuscriptious in Aramaic dating from tlje
earliest Christian times. Attention has been called to the
presence of a X at the beginning and end of a line of a
Palmyrene votive inscription circa 135 a.d.* This is quite
unique, and some scholars have seen in the use of the X a
veiled symbol of the Christian community, by one who
though still heathen was turning towards the new religion.
It is suggestive that anciently the faithful were marked with
a Tan (i.e. X, vide supra) ; with a deeper meaning the same
sign liecame the mark of Christians. If there is here a hint of
Him who is 'the Last,' it would not be surprising it there were
also a bint of Him who is ' the First.' Is there such a hint ?
In some Palmyrene inscriptions there is found a curious
sign 0-, which seems to have no connexion with the text.
It has generally been regarded as a punctuation mark, often
as a fuU-.stop. It is, however, sometimes found where we
should not expect a full-stop.^ It is found most frequently
at the end of the line which gives the date of the inscription.'
In some instances it is found at the end of lines referring to
number and time.* But most suggestive of all it is found
both at the beginning and end of a line, precisely as X is
found in the inscription mentioned above.'' Now just as X is
the sign of Tau in old Hebrew, so » is the sign of Aleph in
some Aramaic-Nabataean inscriptions.' Is it possible to see
in this sign in the Palmyrene inscriptions a veiled suggestion
of one who heard of Him who is both Aleph and Tau, to A
Kol TO il of the Apocalypse ?

' Vog. 7G'. This inscription is a cuiions mixture : it sounds
Jewish ; it is on a I'alnij-rene altar, and tlie cross suggests some
Christian influence. The X, of cour.se, may be mere ornamentation.
Cf. + XPIS + TOS NIKA + . fr<"" the Hanran (Wadd. 2253).

° E.g. •^ |i.nn-»s'i «t\v piiDy .i p

• Six pillars and their beams o and their coverings ' (Vog. 8*- ").

' Vide Vog. 3' 7' 17' 22« 73' ; cf. Nbldeke, Zcitschrifl fiir Assyriologie,
1894, pp. 204-267.

* E.g. Vog. 8* 93*.

»Vog. 17'. The line is: o- /VJJJ— P > o, '5CG.' Here ag.ain the
sign may be merely a bit of literary embellishment.

• This is the form of Aleph found on some of the El-I/ejra, Petra,
Ifanraii and Sinnitic inscriptions.



ARAMAIC



IV



213



NABATAEAN 'CURSIVE' STYLE

Tlie type of writing found in the earliest Hebrew and
Targum MSS can aid us but little in our research. In the
first century a.d. the Scriptures existed for the Jews in a
character which they call 'Assyrian' or -square' writing.^
We have no sufficient data for proviug definitely what this
' Assyrian ' writing was like iit the end of the first century
B.C. The Aramaic square chaiacter seems to have come into
use somewhat later. It was apparently employed about the
beginning of the second century a.d. in MSS of the Old
Testament. The old Hebrew character was used as late as
tlie Hasmonaean dynasty, as the inscriptions on coins prove.^
An Aramaic panel found in Egypt, with the old type of
writing, dates from the second century A.P.' The literature
which covers the period we are con.si«Ieriug is the Aramaic of
the Nabataean inscriptions (down to 100 A.D.), the Palmyreue
inscriptions (down to 300 a.d.), and tlie Siuaitic inscriptions
(first and second centuries a.d.). Probably the best general
type of writing to represent the Aramaic of 100 B.c.-lOO a.d.
is that which Euting calls ' uabataisch,' compared with the
kindred ' palmyren.' * In support of this statement we have
the chronological, historical and geographical positions and
relations of the Nabataeans, and the further important fact
that Nabataean and Palmyrene agree in most essential
features with the Aramaic of Ezra and Daniel. A careful
examination of the Tables of the Syriac written characters by
Euting leads to the conclusion that the Aramaic alphabet at
the beginning of the first century A.D. was passing through a
transition period. That is, the type was slightly changing
from the old Hebrew to the later Palmyrene.^ Hence several

' 'TBiK 3515 or !;?■)!? 3of ■ Assyrian ' probably simply means that this
type was used by the N.E. Syrians.

' On coins struck as late as 66-70 ami 132-135 A.D.

' This panel is in the collection of Theodor Graf, Vienna. There are
only six letters on it.

* For an account of Nabataean inscriptions and coins, vide Euting, Nab.
Inschr. aus Arabim ■ Noldeke, fSem. Sprachen ; De I.uynes, Rev. Numism.

' Cf. Euting in Chwolson's Corpus Inscr. Hcb.



214 THE LANGUAGE OE PALESTINE



ARAMAIC



215



letters were written in somewhat difTerent ways. The
Nabataean appears on the whole the most 'cursive' style,
and tliis may suggest the type employed in ordinary
correspondence.*

5.— PRON UNCI ATION



■tt'":iwlS






INITIAL DIFFICULTY

There is no certainty respecting the pronunciation of the
alphabet. This is true of both the consonant and vowel
sounds. The pronunciation of Aramaic letters preserved in
Greek translations does not always represent the vocalization
in Palestine in the first century a.d. There is a rather
remarkable passage in the Gospel of Thomas about Jesus
entering the school of Zacchaeus: KaOlaavrot Be avTo<: rov
oioa^ai, ypafifiara tw 'Iijtrov, ijp^aro to irpSsTo<; arotyelov to
AXeO' o Sk 'Irj(Tov<; \eyei to Sevrepov aroixftov, fi-rred, yxifieX.
Kid el-rrev ain^ iravTa to, aToi'xeta eta? TeKov<i? The forms
Hired and yicifieX represent rr-a and ha^i. It would thus appear
that Jesus gave a pronunciation different from that which was
commonly -taught in the later schools. The Greek forms
suggest tiiat the pronunciation of 3 partook of the sound of
two of its interchangeable labials, o and b, and that 3 com-
bined the sound of one of its interchangeable letters, n.' The
permutation of letters was much commoner among Orientals
than Westerns.

Unfortunately the shorter (and apparently imperfect)
Syriac version of the Gospel of Thovias does not help us. It
gives a corresponding passage, but the orthography of the

' Sonic of tlie Nabataean letters inif;lit easily develop into the now
common Heb. square cli.aractei', or into the Ncsturian Syriac. E.g. \ =i
or ^ ; I =1 or I . ^ = or 4? ; L, =V or _^ ; J =B or J ; *^=nor n;
J^ =n or ^.

' Codex Ajiocryplms, Novi Tcstnmenti, collectus, etc. A. Fabvicio,
Hamburg!, 1719-1743. Evnng. In/antiae, vi.

• For examiile cf. lena and k'id (Jndg. 3" and Ezek. 39") ; Sna and Sn9
(Gen. 4", Ileb. and Targ.). Also '>3i and ^dd (Ex. 28" and Uan. 6=').



1?



'■'■■■■:8ft



letters named is that which became usual.* A comparison of
the vocalized Syriac alphabet and the Hebrew Massoretic
alphabet, will suggest certain modifications of the vowel
sounds.* It is to be presumed that the Aramaic of Palestine
was nearer in sound to the early Syriac than to the pointed
Hebrew. It is probable that the Arabic preserves the sound
of some letters better than either Hebrew or Syriac. The
original pronunciation of n is hopelessly lost ; it probably
represents a sound which we have no means of expressing.
No wonder it became otiose in Some words which required it
etymological ly. Anciently this letter had variant pronuncia-
tions, as is evident from the Arabic use of two forms.* At
first it was the harshest of the gutturals, but gradually
assumed a softer sound, until it was little more than a
' breathing,' and finally negligible in pronunciation.* The
letter f\ had two sounds in Hebrew, and apparently in Syriac,

corresponding to tt and <f), but in Arabic ■ i consistently

represents/ ( = <f>). The Aramaic was perhaps similar to the
Arabic'

' The p.nssage is as follows : •^]o .^21^ (Scl ."Ijg^.CP ■ ■ \ }lo]o
_L^ •^]o .A I «•> ^]j) ];t^rr, >oa^ v^imolo .\JCl-a_.

«A^ Aq| ^ , »-)^ 'And the Scribe said to Him, Say Alepli, and Jesus
said it ; and again the Scribe desired that He should say Beth ; but Jesus
said to him. Tell Me first what is Alepli, and then I will tell thee aliout
Beth.'

' Vide Noldeke, Si/r. Gram., pp. 3-4. It may be remarked here that
the Syriac vowel Xekofo represents omicron, but is usually transliterated by

alpha, e.^. ^j(, 'ASifi; (Zfio, Mip0a; (jQiQiO, Mo/twcas; \L\ \)^,

^9

Map&K affi. This suggests that the better pronunciation of ]A ^ . » ct

is Peshilta (not Peshitio), as by the E. Syrians ; cf. Nestle, Syr. Gram.,
pp. 9-10.

' Thus : ^=AA, and ^=kh.

* The transliteration of nmSpn, 'AKeXSa^nd (Acts I"), is suggestive, the
Aram, n is represented by the S2yiritus asper ; cf. n-pm, 'Efexlos, n is repre-
sented by the spiritus lenis.

' The word 'E^^ofld (Mk. 7") will illustrate. The regular Aram, form
would be nncntj (Ithpa. imper.). The n becomes absorbed in >), hence nnsx,
but 1 is sounded by ip, and n is otiose. Moreover, movable sheva has the
sound of a, as in itp^is, ra^affo or rap^aBS. ; 'ini?3»', ^apaxSavl. Hence 'E<p(pQ.ed.
seems to be the correct pronunciation of (n)p?(n)i<.



216 THE LANGUAGE OF PALESTINE



II
COMPARISON WITH OTHER tANGUAGES

Words whose pronunciation is suggested by their form in
other languages. For illustration a selection of words from
the Nabataean and Palmyreue inscriptions will be interesting.
The Greek form of many of the proper names is known.
Here allowance must be made for the characteristic Greek
terminations.! The Syriac form of other words is known, the
only difference often being the frequent addition of the Syriac
Ahf status envphaticus? Arabic sometimes lends its aid by
supplying vocalized equivalent terms.'

The inscriptions are particularly interesting in this
connexion, inasmuch as many of the Palmyrene are bilingual,
tliat is, the Palmyreue inscriptions are often followed by a
Greek version. The Greek does not always represent the
exact pronunciation of the transliterated words, but affords
a clue to tiie original vocalization. These bilingiial writings
sliow that the vowel-letters had slightly different sounds in
difTorent positions and in different words, and no consistent
rule can be adequately fixed.*

' For instance, i< = as, >;!, ot, ami sometimes los, ti ; 1 = 05; \ = tiv, etc.
'rims : mJ3, N 8', cf. fidypaToi ; KCOD, N 4', cf. ^dcris j K"\}, V 32", cf. 70^101 ;
Ki3pn, 1' 24-, cf. SovKri-rapios ; irSo', P 36''-', cf. la/iXtxot ; p'^So, N 5', cf.
/iaXxIwi' ; D'op], N 66, cf. Ni<ci)7-^! ; nn'S», N 12', cf. fffXt/tafli; ; ITVC, N 12',
ri. ffoatdo^t

'For example: aievK, CIS 320 B, cf. i<l^jiJol; pw^jiD, P 16', cf.

^ .Vn. Vv^. Kmrn, P IS'', cf. ]jala^jai; DipiSo, P 17', cf.

JOasaNlP ; ft-iBx, P 11', cf. ]-rSi,; w-iBip, N20', cf. |j0(_^j_0.

' 'I'liiis . icn'?], N V, cf. <U^li^ ; I'Bpn, N 59, cf. ^^(kii!>- i I'-'ia, N 9", cf.
^L^f ; nmmav, N 5',cf. £ iW Jar ; ins, P 32', cf. Jk«si ! 'n^NO-n, N 7', cf.

' Final n and ■ in Palm, are diflerently represented in Gk., but probably
were both pronounced as i; : nSu = (i^i3, ^avkfi (Vogiie, Syr. Centr. 1), cf.
K^unT='Iopi/3ii)X^ (Vog. ill. 2); nBp = '-!Bij (Constantine : Afr. 1), cf. the
two forms Kiat (Vog. ib. 28, 29) and nai (Euting, Sin. Inschr. 4) ; Rnio



;-'-A



ARAMAIC



III



217



ARAMAIC FORMS IN THE GREEK GOSPELS

The Greek Gospels supply a nuniljer of words and phrases
which suggest the pronunciation of their Aramaic originals.
The Syriac will aid us in this study. At the beginning of the
Christian era Syriac liad passed far through a transition in
the matter of its final vowels. It had become usual to omit
in pronunciation tlie final vowel in very common words.
This was largely the result of tlie slurring over of words
and their consequent abbreviation by the mass of people in
ordinary conversation. The tendency in this direction was
never so pronounced in Arabic* It is not correct to speak
of Aramaic as a corruption of Hebrew, but it is correct to
say that Aramaic pronunciation degenerated from the first
century B.C., a fact particularly apparent in the vulgarizing
of vowel-sounds. These sounds, however, were retained to a
later period in the more refined speech. The Kershuni,
whose language was a mixture of. Syriac and Arabic, and who
retained the Syriac books in their religious services, were
known to sound these vowels in their more solemn and
deliberate utterances.^ It is not always observed that 1 and <

(Chagiga, 77'') and 'niD (Palni. Vog., ib. 13 ; Nab. CIS ii. 158) ; K^<ti (Vog.
ib. 3) and ■ais' (CIS ii. 215). Probably the a-sonnd was retained in the
St. emp., e.g. ndSd (CIS ii. 199). Final 1 is usually pronounced as w ; laSn
(CIS ii. 218), MUlilcu, cf. the form MoMxns (Miiller, Geogr. Gr. Miv. i.
272) ; cf. nov (CIS ii. 221),''0/3oi5os, and unn (16.), 'A/JeijSos. The letter y
is generally silent, i.e. absorbed in the previous vowel. In nnjnny, the
medial V=y, 'ArepyaTis (Vog. ib. 3), but this is quite exceptional.

' The final yud and vav in verbs were often not sounded in Syriac, e.jr.

■ ■ ..Vi|-».iimr; o-}iD\=emar. No doubt the original pronunciation was
eiiiari and emai'U. The final vowel sounds are more consistently retained
in Arabic, as ^^\=ibnali\ \^ = dalwo. So, too, the letters which
became marked with the liwa occidtans were originally sounded, thus
^^S\-no3h (orig. e^jg); Aj] =at (orig. B)!<) ; h^^bath (orig. A^S,

the fern, of '^ ; cf. Heb. nj, originally the form ^p, the fern, of 13).

' ' Only when they were posting tlirougli, then, I confess, for celerity
sake, they leave out many letters' (Christianus Ravius, Orient. Gram., p.



218



THE LANGUAGE OF PALESTINE



should retain their vowel-soimd, especially at the end of
syllables, and not be prououuced as v or /, as the former

often is. In Syriac n . \ . is galliu (not galliv) ; ^jJO*

is saudi (not savdi). So in Hebrew V3N is properly abiu
(not ahiv) ; VsiiD, malkm (not mallciv)} Aramaic was origin-
ally tlic same, 1""!^', shariu (not shariv), Vt ; ziu (not zivy

Among the transliterated Aramaic terms in the Greek
Testament, bearing on the original pronunciation, the following
may be mentioned :

TaXidu, Kovfi (or Kovfii). The correct grammatical form
is Kovfii {i.e. 'pip, imper. 2 sing. fern.). But, as stated above,
the final vowel in such cases had become otiose, and the
vernacular pronunciation would be icovfi (mp, in form imper.
2 sing. mas.). That the original written form was "Dip Nn^btJ
is supported by the Syriac f A . V ^ . . V^n n, which vocalizing

suggests tliat the Ihial yiid was not sounded. The Greek
variants may have arisen in tlie following way. The reading
Kovfi was based on MSS which preserved the native pro-
nunciation, and the reading Kovfii was based on MSS which
followed the Aramaic spelling.' In the case of 'Pa30i and
'Pa3/3ovvL the Greek MSS perhaps preserve both the Aramaic
spelling and pronunciation, inasmuch as terms of personal
address were not so likely to lose their final vowels in
pronunciation.*

'A3/3a is another term to be noted in this connexion.
This form exactly represents Dhe Aramaic xaN, and the Syriac

134). The language of these people, which is really Arabic in Syriac

characters, is still called in Arabic J^^^, ' Kar.shuni' (cf. Duval, TraiU
dc Gi-rrvi. St/i: 13).

' Vide Noldeke, Si/r. Gram., ]>. 27.

'Cf. iVT (Gen. 11", Heb. and Onk.) with C!U. forni'Po7aO; m.T3K (Ex.
G=', Ileb. and Onk.), h.tdk (1 Ch. 8') Avith Gk. fmni 'A/3ioi!5. Probably
simple words like " and n (Dan. 2" 3") were originally pronounced gau
and rcii.

' The authorities are ; for kou/i H BCLMN S, et nl. ; for koD/h, ADAH*,
ct al.

* It is not certain whether ijod in this word is simply paragogic or
the personal snili.x. The (Jreek equivalent StSatrKoXe would suggest the
former ; usage, the latter ; cf. -i? (.John 20™).



'M



ARAMAIC



219



*!



;j



Xo\, and no doubt retains the original pronunciation. The
usual absolute form of the word in Aramaic literature was
the status empliaticiis. This appears from the inscriptions
and the Targums, but no instance of the absolute form of
the word is found in Biblical Aramaic or in Aramaic papyri.*
From other Jewish writings we learn that K3N was some-
times used in the sense of "3N. This probably arose from
the indistinct vocalization of the final vowels. There seems
to have been considerable laxity in the use of the true suffixes
of this term.* The real distinctions were made plain enough
by the circumstances, or by the gesture of the speaker. It
is probable that X3N and "3N were pronounced very much
alike.'

Boavr)p'fk<; is perliaps a form which preserves the ver-
nacular pronunciation. Tliis word was supposed to mean
viol ^povTf}<!. The latter part of the word might stand for
HT (cf. Targ. Mic. 5*') ; but this term almost invariably (Job
37*, a possible exception) signifies agitation, raghig, in the
sense of anger. The word might even arise from ^E'"i, vvhich
is a Jewish-Aramaic word meaning flame, lightning, and so
become associated with thunder ; but this cannot be pressed.*

' Vide P 12' ; the constr. is in. regularly, N 27' ; Onk. Gen. 17* ; snr.jie.
In Bibl. Aram. 2k is onlj' found with suffixes. In Aram, papyri are
found .113N, .J 7 ; doidk, H 6.

'We lind nan for '3k, Gen. 19'* Onk., Kelhuboth, ii. 6, Ncdnrim, ii. 1
(cf. nnn for "Hk, Jer. Targ. Gen. 38°") ; kdn for KjnK, Bnba bathra, ix. 3 ;
Shebnoth, vii. 7.

" Probably 'A/3^a, 6 varrip (Mk. 14*") represents "att rdn (cf. Syr.

■ ■ *^ | \^\ ), but the distinction was lost in pronunciation.

* In Job ff IPT 'J? is rendered 'sp.T,rks' (RV. niarg. 'sons of Hanie').
That a word meaning ' lightning ' can come to be used iu the sense of

'thunder' is indicated by the word PI?, Byr. lO^r), 'lightning' (Dan.
10"). We find the compouml pl?'.!? (Jos. 19'*), lit. "sons of lightning,' but
perhaps = • sons of thunder,' i.e. of the storm-god Kininion (cf. Assyr.
Eamvmn-birku), Barak, called 'thunderbolt' (Cic. Pro Balbo, xv. ; cf.

'He^os, Hamilear,i. I). The Arabic f^p~ , is the same in meaning as the

Syr. - » ,.'i to sound aloud, hence to thmidcr. This word is well known

in the Talnmd, both as verb irj";, to slwtit tmnvltuously, and as .substantive
*VVt Gcrdusch, noise, storm. Cf. CIS i. 10* ; Zenj. Hadad, 1. 2.



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THE LANGUAGE OF PALESTINE



It is tempting to look with Jerome to DJ!"!, but it is not easy
to obtain reges or erges from this term. On the whole, it
is best to turn to K'J"!, the root idea of which is to viake a
vehement noise (cf. Ps. 2'), though found with a somewhat


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Online LibraryJohn Nigel Courtenay JamesThe language of Palestine and adjacent regions → online text (page 21 of 26)