Gershon Galil's DRAWING of the Qeiyafa ostracon (was: READING)
- I sent a new drawing to the moderators for upload to the Biblicalist library, which y'all should have access to soon. I thought it might be helpful for people to see the main differences between the original drawing by Misgav & the new/modified one by Galil.
The most noticeable ones are:
1) the addition by Misgav of strokes to form a bunch of Vau (Y-shaped) letters (I count 6)
2) an additional section in the top-right corner forming a new word written in a different direction
3) 2 hypothetical letters (apparently a Tau & a Mem) in the top-right corner & in another place along the top row
4) the change of one Dalet in the bottom line (4th in from the right) removing a stroke to form a Gimel.
- I think that the association between Israel and the ostracon is a matter for
more debate. I don't know what "Hebrew" was in the 10th century BCE but I
am just pleased, after reading Professor Galil's translation that there were
Democrats in the Elah Valley during the time of David. It would have been
nice if the DMLK at line 4 would have been followed by a DWD. :)
From: "George F Somsel" <gfsomsel@...>
Sent: Friday, January 08, 2010 1:54 AM
Subject: Re: Gershon Galil's reading of the Qeiyafa ostracon (was Re:
[biblicalist] 10th Century Israel)
> I think you are correct to be cautious regarding the word אלמן being
> obviously Hebrew in view of Ugaritic.
> 190.ulmn‘widowhood’ (52:9) || ṯkl; cf. שכול|| אלמן(Is. 47:9) almnt‘widow
> (127:33, 46, 50; 2 Aqht:V:8; Krt:97, 185). אַלְמָנָה, ܐܱܪܡܰܠܬܼܳܐ,
> أَرْمَلَة, almattu.
> Gordon, C. H. (1998). Ugaritic textbook grammar, texts in transliteration,
> cuneiform selections, glossary, indices. 1955.; p. 545-547. Analecta
> orientalia, 38 (359). Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute.
> … search for truth, hear truth,
> learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
> defend the truth till death.
> - Jan Hus
> From: Yitzhak Sapir <yitzhaksapir@...>
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Sent: Thu, January 7, 2010 10:53:12 PM
> Subject: Gershon Galil's reading of the Qeiyafa ostracon (was Re:
> [biblicalist] 10th Century Israel)
> Dr. Galil's reading is very interesting. It seems to me that he apparently
> reads it as follows:
> אל תעש ועבד אל
> שפט עבד ואלמנ. שפט יתם
> וגר. רב עלל. רב דל ו
> אלמנ. שקמ יבד מלכ
> I can't figure out the last line completely.
> Now, in place of his first line which appears to invoke a god (El) which
> translates as "the Lord", one can read (this is suggested in the primary
> publication by Dr. Misgav): אל תעשק. This would be:
> אל תעשק עבד. אל ת / שפט עבד ואלמנ.
> Don't oppress the slave. Don't J / udge a slave and widow ...
> This reads much better than reading a divine invocation unrelated to the
> rest of the social commands. However, the Taw of יתם 'orphan' is now part
> תשפט 'judge', (where it fits much better since it's on the same line).
> Since the
> Mem of יתם 'orphan' is reconstructed, we're left only with the yod of יתם
> intact, right next to the Taw. Now, Ada Yardeni reads here two Taws so
> I guess we can read one Taw for תשפט and another for יתם which flows in
> from the line below. But I think a better suggest might be:
> אל ית/שפט עבד ואלמנ שפט / גר.
> A slave and widow should not be judged the judgement of a stranger.
> Further down, it seems that the word ביד "at the hand of" was misspelled
> as יבד in Galil's reading.
> While I can't figure out the last line completely, it seems the
> ends one word before the end of the line. We have גר תם but only גר
> 'stranger' appears to end the translation.
> In any case, the first four lines would then read:
> אל תעשק עבד. אל ית
> שפט עבד ואלמן שפט
> גר. רב עלל. רב דל. ו
> אלמן שקם יבד מלך.
> The most out of place word in the translation is שקם 'rehabilitate' which
> seems to use a modern Hebrew reading for the word. The word is used
> in the Song of Deborah, but its meaning there is completely unclear. To
> me it seems more likely the meaning there is different from modern
> The word אלמן may point to a Canaanite language. I personally don't
> think עשה is a good enough indicator of Hebrew. But אלמן has a lamed
> which points to non Aramaic (Ugaritic/Hebrew) .
> Against this is the word יתשפט "shall [not] be judged (pl)" in my reading.
> (The plural means that a long vowel at the end of the word is not present
> in the orthography) . The use of Hitphael as passive is generally
> with Aramaic languages (and in particular, the passive of שפט in Hebrew is
> Niphal, not Hithpael). Also, in Biblical Hebrew, the Hiphtael forms were
> innovated to become Hithpael. But this process did not occur on roots
> having Shin (and some other letters). In this language, the innovation is
> more complete than in Hebrew.
> Taken together the language of the inscription is probably a NWS
> language that is not Hebrew but very close to it.
> In favor of Galil's reading, I find the consistent message of social
> Such a message goes well with the place where it was found -- next to
> the gate of the city. Slaves, widows and orphans were apparently located
> at the gate of the city, where also judgement would be rendered. In this
> sense we read Deut 14:21, Deut 14:28-29, Deut 23:16. Dr. Faust writes
> about this in his book Israelite Society in the Period of the Monarchy, p.
> 116-117, suggesting that the "City Gate" is not just the rather small area
> of the gate but a quarter of the city next to the gate where the poor
> resided. It was apparently a poor man's "bill of rights" stele. Even if
> poor couldn't read it, the elders of the city could and it served as a
> of social contract between the two classes.
> Yitzhak Sapir
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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- Anyone coming from the Web having trouble with the Hebrew, can
change the encoding on the browser to UTF-8. I'm sorry for that. I've
written another post now on Canaanite list:
- The file George mentions is available now. It's named qeiyafa-grena_3.gif,
and may be found in this folder:
Thank you again, George, for your work and for sharing your skills!
Kevin P. Edgecomb