Israelian Hebrew: A Re-Evaluation

In: Vetus Testamentum

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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  • 8

    Gogel, pp. 48-49; Dobbs-Allsopp et al., p. 404.

  • 9

    Rendsburg, 1992b.

  • 17

    As is acknowledged in Noegel, p. 179, though not consistently practiced in the paper cited.

  • 19

    E.g., Rendsburg, 2003a, p. 8.

  • 47

    Pardee, 2013, even suggests the language is Phoenician, not Hebrew, on the basis of two features: the interpretation of final -w on nouns and the collapse of the medial diphthong ay. For a different explanation of -w see Huehnergard and Pat-El.

  • 75

    Glosses follow Rendsburg 2003a.

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