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orion dss hebrew -- & gonorrhea -- & cedar oil

Hello everyone,

Just ducking out of lurkerdom to ask for a few thoughts on a few

1. According to Qimron in his thesis cum book (the hebrew of the dss,
scholars, 1986), dss Hebrew was strongly influenced by Aramaic. When it
didn't show such influence, it showed similarities with the Hebrew of
the Bar Kosibah letters and at other times with Mishnaic Hebrew. This
suggests to me that dss Hebrew must have been a spoken language -- not
simply preserving some artificial variety of archaic language for
religion's sake. We have a speech community that principally uses Hebrew
but in strong contact with the Aramaic language: this of course would
make sense given the number of Aramaic documents found at Qumran. Yet
can one say from the state of the Hebrew whether Aramaic was a
substratum (as Burgundian was for certain French dialects) or a
superstratum (as some Slavic language was for Rumanian)?

Another point on this dss Hebrew, there were a number of differences
between certain documents that Qimron used as his sample (mainly cave
non-biblical, non-apocryphal texts with a few from cave 4). Have there
been any attempts to sequence orthographic, phonological, grammatical
and syntactical factors in order to reconstruct either chronological
differences or source differences? (Qimron does show certain
similarities with Samaritan Hebrew and even Punic!)

2. There is quite a lot of thought spent on the subject of gonorrhea in
the dss. Does the word that is being translated actually imply such a
disease or is it merely a rough approximation (as in leprosy of the New
Testament = some kind of skin complaint)? It seems overplayed if we were
to assume a mostly celibate organization, seeing as it is specifically
transmitted sexually.

3. In the first chapter of a pseudepigraphic text (Assumption of Moses)
there is a comment about burying documents and part of the process
invvolved was to anoint the documents with cedar oil. Given the carbon
dating debate on this list a while back, how would such cedar oil
anointing affect the results of dating the documents, if it was the
common practice to use cedar oil in the preparation of burial of



John J. Hays
I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto.