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Re: Re: Nazareth Tombs

>If they WERE called *natzranim* (from an existing town called Nazareth)
>*natzran* morphs more readily into Nazarenos than into Nazaraios -- which
>tips the scales in the other direction.<  [Wegner]

>The inhabitants of Natzrat/Natzeret  would have been more likely to be
called "Natzratim" than "Natzranim."
See "Tzarphat"/"Tzarphatim."< [Forster]

Yes, naturally I had considered that possibility.  But the form Tsarfati
is neither biblical nor even talmudic, but first appears in post-talmudic
medieval literature. Hence we can't assume that the adjective would necessarily
have been formed in this way from the noun Natzerat in the first century
(assuming arguendo that that site had that name in that century, which others
have been telling us does not appear to have been the case!)

On the other hand, Mandelkern draws our attention to a guy called Malkiyah
ben Ha-Tsorefi in Neh. 3:31, listing him under Tsarefat, but with a question-
mark.  Translations don't normally suggest that Malkiyah was the son of a
man from Tsarefat (that is, the village usually rendered as Zarephath, home of
the famous widow in the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 17);  rather, they relate
that word to the name of a town, but to the word tsoref, a gold or silver-
smith. If that is correct, the "i" ending on tsoref would be one of the few
biblical examples of a hold-over from the time when Hebrew had case endings
(ben hatsoref would have taken the genitive "i" case ending such as still
exists in Arabic).  But if, on the other hand, tsorefi really did mean a "man
from Zarefath,"  then by analogy notzeri could actually have designated a
"man from Nazareth" - in which case, Yeshua ha-notseri could certainly have
designated "Jesus the Nazarene."  Since I don't know when he was first referred
to as such in Hebrew, I can't offer an opinion on whether the site called
Nazareth in the NT was or was not called by that name in Jesus' own day.

Judith Romney Wegner

PS In case anyone is wondering, all those "e"s I keep inserting in the words
   usually transliterated notzri, tsorfi, etc., represent shewa na', which
   this form grammaticlaly requires.  Most people seem to assume it is a
   shewa naX and leave out the "e", but I think that is incorrect.