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Re: orion Spoken DSS Hebrew

I wish I could make this subject as simple as some people seem to be
able to. Bradley Harrison can follow this thread only half-heartedly,
because he seems to be sure of the situation. I unfortunately am not.

Do we agree that the Jews spoke several languages? Well, I can't really
answer this question. I know that some spoke one language and some
another. But I have no idea of the percentages and no idea if many
people could speak more than one language. I can see no necessary lines
to argue one way or another.

Jerusalem was on "the outskirts of civilization" for the Persians, the
Ptolemids, the Seleucids, the Romans etc, and so the only speakers of
the related languages seen by the Jews were the odd representatives of
those powers, and often they were actually Jews who would have spoken
Jewish in Jerusalem and the official language to the direct
representatives of those powers. Any parallels with the Egyptian
situation would have to be constructed, though I don't think a related
situation existed in Jerusalem. If in fact people in Judea were
bilingual on account of the presence of overlords, I could imagine that
there would have been very few. Such activities as tax collecting were
performed by local people, minimizing contact between the powers and the
subjected populations. How long did it take for the Seleucids to
intervene directly at the beginning of the so-called Hellenistic Crisis?
It was not until Menelaus was given the high priesthood. Even in such
tense situations the Seleucids were not involved directly, but received
audience on matters in Antioch. If I remember, Hyrcanus Tobiad went to
Egypt to obtain the tax concession of his father.

What the relationship between the Aramaic of the church and Jewish
Aramaic is I don't know, but I know that the Jewish dominions were
surrounded by cultures that spoke Aramaic, including the Nabataeans and
the Samaritans (at least those responsible for the Wadi ed-Daliyeh
documents). I would posit that we can't make use of the data regarding
church Aramaic for we can't demonstrate the relevance. Which dialect of
ancient Aramaic supplied the raw material for that spoken in Maalula?


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