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 THE LANGUAGE OF GOD?

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PostSubject: THE LANGUAGE OF GOD?   Fri May 28, 2010 12:34 am

THE LANGUAGE OF GOD?








The arguments against the historicity of the Exodus
revolve
around the lack of archaeological evidence of a mass migration from
Egypt and a
mass influx into the Holy Land at the end of the Bronze Age (the time at
which
conventional and believing Biblical scholars place this event). This
lack of
evidence is bolstered by any evidence within Egypt itself of the
sojourn.



This is one of the reasons we spent so much time on
a
revised chronology which might resolve the conflicts between the
Biblical
account and science. In so doing we did find evidence of mass movements
of
populations at the end of the Early Bronze age which could have
accounted for
the Exodus story in the Torah.



One problem that was not addressed and which
Biblical
scholars tend to ignore is that of language.



The Jewish sages contend that Hebrew was the
language of
God and that the Torah was handed over in its entirety to Moses at Mt.
Sinai in
that language.



This poses some problems which Americans in
particular
would very much appreciate.



Whichever theory one accepts on the length of the
sojourn
in Egypt (and this is not the time nor the place to discuss that),
whether 400,
430 or 215 years, everyone who believes in the Exodus story agrees that
it was
of many generations.

The question is obvious. The Children of Israel MUST have become
Egyptianized
and there is ample evidence in the Biblical account that they were.
Hence they
MUST have spoken "Egyptian". Hebrew if it existed or continued to exist
at
the time would have been a second language. The problem is that the
Hebrew
of the Torah contains very few words that could possibly have come from
Egypt.
Should that not give us some pause as to concluding that they had in
fact been
in Egypt and not a place called Mizraim.



Linguistics is not our specialty, so we consulted
the
experts.



I quote from some of the leading experts on the
subject
today.



"Hebrew has all the characteristics of a language that developed in
precisely
the area where it was spoken in antiquity, that is, the southern
Levant.
It is closely kin to Phoenician, but it is not Phoenician. It is more
remotely kin to Arabic, but there is nothing to suggest a substantial
Arabic
influence on the ancient Hebrew language (maybe a couple of loan words
that
could be explained by trade connections). It is still more remotely
related to Egyptian, but there is no Egyptian influence on Hebrew apart
from,
again, several loan words, which would be expected given the frequently
strong
presence of Egypt in Western Asia."
(P.K.M.)



"However

in Biblical Hebrew there are a number of ancient Egyptian words that
was
borrowed In time unknown.In the very
reliable and
authoritative Encyclopaedia
Biblica, Jerusalem, 1962, vol. 4 (in Hebrew) there is an article
“Millim
zarot” (Foreign words) by the late Prof.
Chaim Rabin, the eminent linguist of
Israel. In
this article there is a list of words borrowed in Bible from other
languages. The largest portion of these words come from Semitic
languages,
such as Akkadian, Ugaritic,

Phoenician, Aramaic, and both North and
South
Arabian. Much less was borrowed from all other languages.Not
withstanding a
short list of Egyptian words included consisting of 48 words."

(H.S)*


"Hebrew is,
however, clearly a Northwest Semitic language (as are Phoenician,
Moabite,
Edomite and Ammonite, Ugaritic, Aramaic) very closely related to
Phoenician, to which it is better related as a sister language, rather
than
a child, and assuming that they both stem from a common ancestral
language
(Moabite, Edomite and Ammonite as well). Diversification is due to
geolinguistic (Phoenician territory situated further north along the
Mediterranean) political, religious, cultural, and temporal factors,
not
least are those of Phoenician history marked by the migration of the
culture
to North Africa, far separated from the Cananaic region, after the
return of
Judeans from the Babylonian captivity, who for the most part remained
in and
around the Judean area (and absorb other sister varieties of
Northwestern
semitic such as neighboring Moabite, Edomite and Ammonite. In other
words, Hebrew is not pure Phoenician no more than Phoenician is Hebrew.
"

(S.J)


What are we to make of all
that.


One thing for sure is that
Hebrew
could not and did not develop from Egyptian. There seems to be a number
of
sister languages and here are two family trees showing theories
regarding parentage.
















Unfortunately

there are gaps in those area in which we are most interested.

Most
importantly is the area SOUTH of Canaan for which there is very little
information.


This
inscription was discovered by a missionary F A Klein in 1868. It is of

course the famous Stela of Mesha of Moab celebrating his victory over
the
Israelites in around 800 BC and now in the Louvre Museum.



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