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Israelian Hebrew: A Re-Evaluation

In: Vetus Testamentum
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  • 1 Department of Middle Eastern Studies, The University of Texas at Austin
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The biblical text implies that the language of the southern and northern monarchies differed, though with the exception of one anecdotal story no specifics are offered. While the hypothetical existence of a number of dialects is widely accepted, several scholars have claimed that there is actual evidence for at least two, possibly three, dialects in the text of the Hebrew Bible. In order to substantiate this claim a long list of grammatical features has been suggested over the past three decades. In this paper I will evaluate the evidence purported to prove the existence of Hebrew dialects, and show that it is weak and does not support the dialectal hypothesis.

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