This article deals with several constructions used in Hebrew to express material constitution. In Revival Hebrew, there are three different constructions in parallel use, all of which are also documented in earlier strata of Hebrew. These structures will be examined and compared to the former stages of the language and to their equivalents in contact languages. The article discusses the internal influences on these constructions, examines the effect of contact languages and register on the choice of structure, and also briefly compares the situation in Revival Hebrew with the situation in Contemporary Hebrew.
It is well established in the literature that the vocalization of verbs in the Bible occasionally reflects late linguistic developments, specifically, changes in the Hebrew stem system during the Second Temple period, which affected the vocalization but not the consonantal orthography of the verb. This paper discusses five phenomena involving changes in the tense system, rather than the stem system, during the Second Temple period which are reflected in the orthography itself, namely, in the addition or omission of matres lectionis. I argue that the Second Temple scribes did not consider orthographical amendments involving matres lectionis as actual changes of the biblical text. As a result, they sometimes made such amendments, even in the conservative text of the Pentateuch. The five phenomena discussed here are examples of such amendments, reflecting changes in the Hebrew tense system during the Second Temple period. The reason tense-system developments are evident in the verbal orthography, while stem-system developments are not, is that the latter affected not only the vowels but also the consonants of the verbal forms, which the scribes avoided changing.
This article deals with the puzzling fragment 24 in scroll 4Q541 for which many explanations have been proposed. A fresh examination of the text itself and a comparison to fragment 2ii+3+4i in the same scroll suggests that the topic of the fragment is a dove which seeks asylum from birds of prey. This examination also contributes to understanding some linguistic issues. In light of the semantic field of the verbs meaning ‘physical departure’, ‘forgiveness’ and ‘relinquishing a debt’ we learn about the development of the root מח״ל to the sense ‘to give over into the hands of’. In addition, the morphological form תמחולהי and the masculine form יון (a dove) are accounted for.
This article presents a new reading and interpretation of the Aramaic burial inscription from the “Abraham’s House” complex. Rather than representing a curse, we propose that the inscription records the year in which the loculus was completed. Moreover, we suggested that year 99 is counted not from Hyrcanus’ death but rather from the time of his accession to high public office, either as king or as high priest. The use of a continuous numbering system extending back to a foundation date rather than the regnal years of an individual ruler is paralleled by the Seleucid calendar, and also echoes traditions found in Hebrew and Greek sources that such a system was current amongst the Hasmoneans. The identity of Hyrcanus and the implications for the dating of the inscription are also discussed.