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Samaritan Pentateuch

(1,245 words)

Author(s): Florentin, Moshe
The Samaritan Pentateuch (SP) is the Hebrew text reflected in the Samaritan manuscripts of the Pentateuch. Though the oldest manuscripts of the SP are dated to the Middle Ages, their version and peculiar spellings are not due to scribal errors of late copyists, but rather reflect in general one of the old versions of the Pentateuch that existed during the Second Temple period. This is proven not only by hundreds of similarities between the SP and the Septuagint, but mainly by the findings of the…

Gemination

(1,063 words)

Author(s): Florentin, Moshe
Gemination, i.e., the prolonged pronunciation of a consonant usually marked by dagesh forte, is a common phonetic phenomenon in Biblical Hebrew (BH), e.g., the כּ kk in תַּכִּירוּ takkiru ‘you recognize’. It is also phonemic, as seen by pairs such as מִלָּה millå̄ ‘word’ vs. מִילָה mīlå̄ ‘circumcision’, the noun גְּאֻלָּה gəʾullå̄ ‘redemption’ vs. the passive participle גְּאוּלָה gəʾūlå̄ ‘redeemed (ms)’, יִגַּע yiggaʿ ‘he touches’ vs. יִיגַע yīgaʿ ‘he labors’. There are various sources of gemination (i.e. types of dagesh forte) in BH: (1) characteristic dagesh, i.e., gemination which is an …

Samaritan Hebrew: Biblical

(5,220 words)

Author(s): Florentin, Moshe
1. Introduction Samaritan Hebrew is known to us mainly through the Samaritan version of the Pentateuch. It reflects one of the Hebrew dialects that were in use in Palestine at the end of Second Temple period. As first pointed out by Z. Ben-Ḥayyim, it resembles Mishnaic Hebrew and the Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls in several respects. We do not know exactly when Samaritan Hebrew ceased to be a spoken language and was totally replaced by Aramaic. After Hebrew was no longer spoken among the Jews, towards the end of the 2nd century C.E., Samaritans settle…

Samaritan Hebrew: Late

(2,683 words)

Author(s): Florentin, Moshe
1. Introduction The term Late Samaritan Hebrew denotes one of the written forms of Hebrew in use among the Samaritans from about the end of the 13th century C.E. to this day. In fact, the name encompasses a number of quite distinct linguistic styles, one of which, a form that may be called Hybrid Samaritan Hebrew, is in frequent use while the others were used sparingly by Samaritan poets and scribes. Below we shall describe the marginal styles first and then go on to give a somewhat more detailed account of Hybrid Samaritan Hebrew. 2. Pure Hebrew (for More Detail see Florentin 2005a:33–39) We pos…