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orion Peterson on: Spoken DSS Hebrew.
To respond to the following from Sigrid Peterson, "It is difficult to
tell what evidence you will accept for any departure from your views",
all I ask is for solid ancient sources, not modern anecdotes. It does
not help to paint a rose-colored picture of the documentary evidence
regarding this situation. We are trying to understand how the population
of the little hill state of Jerusalem could have become users of Greek
in the short space of a decade given the fact that the first Ptolemy
king used Egyptians as his administrators and it was not until his
successor that Greeks became the state functionaries. Think of
Apollonius of the famous Zenon Papyri who was from Caria. He was one of
the top administrators of the Ptolemy king. This was a political choice
by the king: use Greeks to administer the state, keep them separate from
the people. Another political choice was to use basically only local
administrators in possessions such as Idumea, Ammon, and other places.
Note that there were a number of cities populated by Greeks: I don't
know of any that were in the hills except Samaria. All the best known
places were in economically profitable locations, usually along the
coast, a few in Galilee and renamed Philadelphia in Ammon.
Jerusalem/Yehud was a small place up in the hills, bounded on the south
by Marisa in Idumea, to the east... (when did Jericho become part of
Yehud?), to the west perhaps Gezer and to the north you pick the
village. What is the documentary evidence that overwhelms one with the
notion the the inhabitants of this area must have spoken Greek -- as
against an extreme few who had vested interests in knowing Greek?
An official of Apollonius remarked that he was ill-treated by someone
who was supposed to pay him regularly because he was not hellenized.
This was a person representing Apollonius. Zenon made a journey that
stopped very briefly in Jerusalem as it was on the way to the Tobiad
lands. (If that had not been his parrtial destination, would he ever
have stopped in Jerusalem?) His other stops were far from Jerusalem and
its territory. I don't know how much one can gain from Zenon's archive.
It tends to show me that the people working for Apollonius don't reflect
the idea that there was widespread use of Greek.
And remember that Strugnell who is one of our top experts on the scrolls
is not fluent in Hebrew and he is a scholar who has worked on the
scrolls for several decades.
John J. Hays
I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto!