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Journal of Semitic Studies Current Issue





Published: Fri, 24 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Fri, 24 Feb 2017 09:48:44 GMT

 



J acob A ndersson , Kingship in the Early Mesopotamian Onomasticon 2800-2200 BCE

2017-02-24

AnderssonJacob, Kingship in the Early Mesopotamian Onomasticon 2800-2200 BCE (Studia Semitica Upsaliensia 28). Uppsala University, Uppsala2012. Pp. xxxix + 440. Price: SEK 392 paperback. ISBN: 978-91-554-8270-1.



A lexander S amely in collaboration with P hilip A lexander , R occo B ernasconi and R obert H ayward , Profiling Jewish Literature in Antiquity: An Inventory from Second Temple Texts to the Talmuds

2017-02-24

SamelyAlexander in collaboration with AlexanderPhilip, BernasconiRocco and HaywardRobert, Profiling Jewish Literature in Antiquity: An Inventory from Second Temple Texts to the Talmuds. Oxford University Press, Oxford2013. Pp. xvi + 459. Price: £95.00 hardback. ISBN: 978-0-19-968432-8.



H ervé R eculeau and B arbara F eller , Mittelassyrische Urkunden aus dem Archiv Assur 14446

2017-02-24

ReculeauHervé and FellerBarbara, Mittelassyrische Urkunden aus dem Archiv Assur 14446 (Wissenschaftliche Veröffentlichungen der Deutschen Orient- Gesellschaft/Assur 130). Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden2012. Pp. vii + 112. Price: €68.00. ISBN: 978-3-447-06812-3.



R oland B oer , The Sacred Economy of Ancient Israel

2017-02-24

BoerRoland, The Sacred Economy of Ancient Israel (Library of Ancient Israel). Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, KY2015. Pp. xx + 308. Price: $50.00/£30.00 paperback. ISBN: 978-0-664-25966-2.



A vraham F aust , Judah in the Neo-Babylonian Period: The Archaeology of Desolation

2017-02-24

FaustAvraham, Judah in the Neo-Babylonian Period: The Archaeology of Desolation (Archaeology and Biblical Studies 18). Society of Biblical Literature, Atlanta2012. Pp. xiv + 302. Price: $35.95 paperback. ISBN: 978-1-58983-640-2.



E rnest N icholson , Deuteronomy and the Judaean Diaspora

2017-02-24

NicholsonErnest, Deuteronomy and the Judaean Diaspora. Oxford University Press, Oxford2014. Pp. xii + 196. Price: $99.00 hardback. ISBN: 978-0-19870273-3.



R achelle G ilmour , Juxtaposition and the Elisha Cycle

2017-02-24

GilmourRachelle, Juxtaposition and the Elisha Cycle (LBHOTS 594). Bloomsbury, London2014. Pp. xiv + 250. Price: $120.00 hardback. ISBN: 978-056743-809-6.



S usan G illingham , A Journey of Two Psalms: The Reception of Psalms 1 & 2 in Jewish & Christian Tradition

2017-02-24

GillinghamSusan, A Journey of Two Psalms: The Reception of Psalms 1 & 2 in Jewish & Christian Tradition. Oxford University Press, Oxford2013. Pp. xx + 344. Price: £35.00 hardback. ISBN: 978-0-19-965241-9.



E ric D. R eymond , Qumran Hebrew: An Overview of Orthography, Phonology, and Morphology

2017-02-24

ReymondEric D., Qumran Hebrew: An Overview of Orthography, Phonology, and Morphology (Society of Biblical Literature Resources for Biblical Study 76). Society of Biblical Literature, Atlanta2014. Pp. xvii + 309. Price: $37.95 paperback. ISBN: 978-1-58983-931-5.



B ezalel P orten and A da Y ardeni , Textbook of Aramaic Ostraca from Idumea, Vol. 1: Dossiers 1–10: 401 Commodity Chits

2017-02-24

PortenBezalel and YardeniAda, Textbook of Aramaic Ostraca from Idumea, Vol. 1: Dossiers 1–10: 401 Commodity Chits. Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake, IN2014. Pp. liv + 472. Price: $149.50 hardback. ISBN: 978-1-57506-277-8.



N ina L. C ollins , Jesus, the Sabbath and the Jewish Debate: Healing on the Sabbath in the 1st and 2nd Centuries CE

2017-02-24

CollinsNina L., Jesus, the Sabbath and the Jewish Debate: Healing on the Sabbath in the 1st and 2nd Centuries CE (Library of New Testament Studies). Bloomsbury, T and T Clark, London2014. Pp. xxii + 482. Price: £80.00 hardback. ISBN: 978-0-567-38587-1.



S ean F reyne , The Jesus Movement and Its Expansion – Meaning and Mission

2017-02-24

FreyneSean, The Jesus Movement and Its Expansion - Meaning and Mission, Wm B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI2014. Pp. xii + 383. Price: $35.00 paperback. ISBN: 978-0-8028-6786-5.



J oachim J.M.S. Y eshaya , Poetry and Memory in Karaite Prayer: The Liturgical Poetry of the Karaite Poet Moses ben Abraham Dar‘ī

2017-02-24

YeshayaJoachim J.M.S., Poetry and Memory in Karaite Prayer: The Liturgical Poetry of the Karaite Poet Moses ben Abraham Dar‘ī (Karaite Texts and Studies Volume 6. Études sur le judaïsme médiéval 61). Brill, Leiden2014. Pp. xvi + 317. Price: £139.00 hardback. ISBN: 978-90-0425991-1.



L utz E dzard (ed.), Arabic and Semitic Linguistics Contextualized. A Festschrift for Jan Retso

2017-02-24

EdzardLutz (ed.), Arabic and Semitic Linguistics Contextualized. A Festschrift for Jan Retsö. Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden2015. Pp. 576. Price: €128.00 hardback. ISBN: 978-3-447-10422-7.



R amzi B aalbaki . The Arabic Lexicographical Tradition: From the 2nd/8th to the 12th/18th Century

2017-02-24

BaalbakiRamzi. The Arabic Lexicographical Tradition: From the 2nd/8th to the 12th/18th Century. (Handbook of Oriental Studies, Section 1). Brill, Leiden2014. Pp. 535. Price: €160.00 hardback. ISBN: 978-90-0427397-9.



A gnès N ilufer K efeli , Becoming Muslim in Imperial Russia: Conversion, Apostasy and Literacy

2017-02-24

KefeliAgnès Nilufer, Becoming Muslim in Imperial Russia: Conversion, Apostasy and Literacy. Cornell University Press, Ithaca2014. Pp. 312. Price: $52.50 hardback. ISBN: 978-0-8014-5231-4.



M ahmud G hanayim , The Lure of the Title: Text and Context in Palestinian Fiction, 1948-2012 .

2017-02-24

GhanayimMahmud, The Lure of the Title: Text and Context in Palestinian Fiction, 1948–2012. (Arabisch-islamische Welt in Tradition und Moderne 11). Harras-sowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden2015. Pp. xiv + 182. Price: €38.00 paperback. ISBN: 978-3-447-10494-4.



A aron D. R ubin , The Jibbali (Shahri) Language of Oman

2017-02-24

RubinAaron D., The Jibbali (Shahri) Language of Oman (Studies in Semitic Languages and Linguistics 72). Brill, Leiden2014. Pp. xxx + 718. Price: €208.00 hardback. ISBN: 978-90-04-26284-3.



J.S. B aden , The Promise to the Patriarchs

2017-02-24

BadenJ.S., The Promise to the Patriarchs. Oxford University Press, Oxford2013. Pp. 228. Price: $45.00 hardback. ISBN: 978-0-19-989824-4.



G regorio del O lmo L ete , Studies in Common and Comparative Semitics: Selected Papers

2017-02-24

del Olmo LeteGregorio, Studies in Common and Comparative Semitics: Selected Papers (Semitica Antiqua 2). Oriens Academic, Cordoba2015. Pp. xv + 432. Price: €90.00 hardback. ISBN: 978-84-606-7235-7.



K inga D évényi with M unif A bdul -F attah and K atalin F iedler , Catalogue of the Arabic Manuscripts in the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

2017-02-24

DévényiKinga with Abdul-FattahMunif and FiedlerKatalin, Catalogue of the Arabic Manuscripts in the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Islamic Manuscripts and Books 9. Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest). Brill, Leiden and Boston2016. Pp. xviii + 554 + 92 plates. Price: €135.00 hardback. ISBN: 978-90-04-30682-0.



K eith E. S mall , Qur’ans: Books of Divine Encounter

2017-02-24

SmallKeith E., Qur'āns: Books of Divine Encounter. Bodleian Library Publishing, Oxford2015. Pp. 170. Price: £14.99 paperback. ISBN: 978-1-85124-256-6.



Harmonizing a Messenger Formula in Ugaritic

2017-02-24

Abstract
After a brief survey of the various translations available, this note attempts to resolve some of the apparent contradictions in a formulaic passage in Ugaritic (KTU 1.3 iv 8–10 and parallels) by referring to cognate languages. The two difficult Ugaritic words for which solutions are proposed are mlḥmt and qryy.



New Sources for the Study of North-Yemenite Arabic: Beit HA-'Even (‘The House of Stone’) and Sefer HA-MA ‘Aśim (‘The Book of Tales’) By A. Ben-David 1

2017-02-24

Abstract
A series of unique books, published in the years 2008–10 by a private publisher in Qiryat ‘Eqron, describe episodes of Jewish life in the northern province of Yemen during the first half of the twentieth century. These books constitute a rare source for the study of the cultural, social, religious and linguistic world of this community, the members of which have meanwhile emigrated from Yemen, predominantly to Israel. The author, Rabbi Dr Aharon Ben-David, uses multilayered Hebrew, into which he interweaves whole sections in the Arabic dialect which was spoken by the Jews while in Yemen, and which in many cases continues to serve as a means of communication among community members after their immigration to Israel as well. The Arabic sections appear in the books in vocalized Hebrew characters, using a unique transcription method developed by the author. These texts form a rich and rare source for the study of a Judaeo-Arabic dialect, which is doomed to disappear within the coming years. This paper describes the main characteristics of the transcription used in these books, as the anomalous use of ḥātēp-paṯaḥ, the qāmeṣ, šûreq and qibbûṣ, dāgēš and other dots inside letters, as well as the marking of vocalic Anlauts. I shall also discuss a few instances of component merger in speech, which become apparent by virtue of the unique transcription.



IBN Ḥazm and Midrash *

2017-02-24

Abstract
‘Alī b. Aḥmad b. Ḥazm devoted much of his oeuvre to polemics against Jews and Judaism. In so doing, he often based his case on what he said were Jewish sources — which, he insisted, the Jews had falsified and fabricated. How familiar was he with these sources, and how did he acquire this familiarity? the article investigates a series of references to Jewish sources by Ibn Ḥazm, attempts to determine their origin — possibly the Talmuds and other post-Biblical works that contain Midrash — analyses his treatment of them, and ventures several hypotheses about the roots of his familiarity. While scholarship to date provides no unequivocal proof of the correctness of these hypotheses, Ibn Ḥazm's recourse to Jewish sources in his polemical writings is evidently the result of thorough research on his part.



Adaptation in Medieval Islamicate Medical Compilations: The Example of Arrow Extractions

2017-02-24

Abstract
Medical compilations from the medieval Islamicate period have been characterized as stagnant on account of their dependence on earlier graeco-roman sources. As the authors of these works rarely offer explicit criticism of past theory and practice, their contributions have been defined in terms of their transmission of the classical medical tradition. This paper draws attention to the ways in which medieval medical compilers adapt their source texts to reflect current modes of practice and even personal experiences. In so doing, it examines the reception of paul of Aegina's (seventh century CE) chapter on the extraction of arrows ( 6.88) in the compilations of al-Rāxzī, al-Maǧūsī, al-Zahrāwī, and Ibn Sīnā. I will argue that Paul and his Arabic successors, working in areas of conflict, either modify their respective sources in light of the realities of their practice or contemporary trends in treatment.



Blessing, Clinging, Familiarity, Custom – or Ship? A New Reading of the Word Īlāf in Q 106

2017-02-24

Abstract
The word in Q 106 (sūrat Quraysh) has been the subject of debate among Qur’ān commentators and scholars since the first centuries of Islam. There is uncertainty about the spelling, reading and meaning of the word. The ‘bewildering variety of meanings’ suggested for it include, among other things, blessing, clinging, familiarity and custom. After providing a review of the literature I argue that īlāf is related to the Syriac word elaf ‘ship’. Consequently, the theme of the sūra seems to be simply a call to Quraysh to acknowledge God's favours in providing them with food and making safe their sea travel by which they obtain this food.



Personal Names in Judah in the Iron Age II

2017-02-24

Abstract
The growing number of Hebrew personal names from Iron Age II archaeological excavations, especially of Judaean sites, enables us to analyse these names as a separate group and achieve statistically meaningful results. 625 names from 40 sites in Judah were collected and studied according to different attributes, such as the distribution of theophoric and non-theophoric names, theophoric elements in names, prefixed and suffixed theophoric elements, and popular names. This study contributes to our understanding of Judah as a distinct group. An almost complete absence of names in Judah during the tenth and ninth centuries may reflect limited literacy and/or administration. Names appear in significant numbers from the mid-eighth century on, indicating Judah was clearly a state by that time. The extremely limited use of divine names other than YHWH or El (1%), the absence of , the remarkably high use of (74%), the large increase of names from the eighth to seventh century, and the dominance of popular names with in the seventh century, may indicate the spread of yahwism, especially during the seventh century. Names with the element are also popular in Judah in the seventh century.



Evidence For an Arabic Translation of the Yogaśataka *

2017-02-24

Abstract
Research into the transmission of Indian scientific works to the Arabs during the early Abbasid period is still hampered by the most basic obstacles, some of which arise already at the level of identification of proper names and book titles. In this article, an attempt is made to identify and elucidate one particularly opaque and hitherto unexplained Indian term in Arabic garb, thus adding another building block to our scanty knowledge of this track of intercultural exchange.



On the Verb Forms Derived from Four H‐Initial Roots in the Mehri Language of Oman

2017-02-24

Abstract
In the Mehri language of Oman (Modern South Arabian), h in an initial h-C sequence is totally assimilated by C, if C is a voiceless non- ejective consonant and h- a preformant (Bendjaballah and Segeral 2014). In this article, we extend this generalization and show that the assimilation of h in initial hC sequences takes place not only if h is a preformant, but also if it is the first root consonant. Our analysis makes it possible to establish the identity of four problematic roots, in which the presence of h as the first root consonant remained partly unnoticed up to now: listendrinkgive in marriage and put aside (food) as distateful. The analysis is based on new, first-hand data elicited from native speakers in fieldwork.



Yemen's Tribal Idiom: An Ethno-Historical Survey of Genealogical Models 1

2017-02-24

Abstract
The notion of an Arab tribe has been widely debated by anthropologists and historians. Whatever its relevance in specific social and historical contexts, it often serves as idiom of alleged genealogical descent. Arab scholars created a genre of nasab (genealogy) literature, most notably that of Ibn al-Kalbī (d. 819 ce). There is a substantial literature in Arabic discussing the terms used to describe tribal descent groups, but it is difficult to apply the models to what actually occurred on the ground. Yemen is a particularly important locus for Arab genealogy, not only for the continuing significance of a tribal idiom in contemporary Yemeni society, but also because so many of the early migrants in the expansion of Islam traced their ancestry to Yemeni tribes. In this article I examine the models proposed for the tribal idiom in Yemen since the time of the Yemeni scholar al-Hamdānī (d. 945 ce) to nineteenth and twentieth century accounts by Yemeni scholars, Western travellers and anthropologists. The aim of the paper is to compare models recorded in texts with observations of tribal affiliation and identity making. Are these models artificial constructs of early scholars, reserve systems for political mobilization, or reflections of similarities in the dynamics of group formation across the region? To the extent models of tribal genealogy constitute an idiom, what do they express in differing political and ideological contexts?



Remarks on Dadanitic MḤR . With an Addendum on the Word H' in AH 288

2017-02-24

Abstract
In the Dadanitic inscriptions from the oasis of al-‘Ulā, in the northwest part of Saudi Arabia, the word mḤr occurs three times (AH 209, AH 288 and JSLih 37). Previous editors have proposed various interpretations, none of which is very satisfactory. The grammatical function of this word and, to some extent, the contexts in which it appears, show that it needs to be considered in another way. The aim of this article is to clarify its meaning in the light of a new analysis of the inscriptions in which it appears.



The Origin of *S 3 in the Ḥaḍramitic and Modern South Arabian Third Person Feminine Personal Pronouns 1

2017-02-24

Abstract
The modern South Arabian third person feminine pronouns show an unexpected reflex s for Proto-Semitic *s1. This s is argued to be the regular outcome of *s3 = *ts, which replaced *s1 = *s in these forms due to phonological reanalysis in constructions like *malkat sī’ ‘she is a queen’ ^ *malkat tsī’. In Ḥaḍramitic, these feminine pronouns also reflect *s3, but their relation to the Modern South Arabian forms remains unclear.



The Origin and Meaning of Mandaic 1

2017-02-24

Abstract
The most characteristic figures in the Mandaean religion are the beings known as the eutria. unlike the supreme being, who remains largely aloof from the material world, the eutria repeatedly intervene in the affairs of mankind to protect the Mandaeans and punish those who threaten them. The origin and precise meaning of this term have been the subject of some debate. The scholarly consensus that has developed over the past fifteen decades, namely that it is cognate with Aramaic ‘uṯrā ‘riches’ and therefore must mean ‘riches’, is not justified either by the internal evidence from the Mandaic literature or by the comparative evidence from the other Semitic languages. By comparing its contemporary spoken form with related words in all other branches of Semitic, this contribution will demonstrate that it clearly derives from the Proto-Semitic root *w-t-r ‘to exceed’, that it is one of an extremely small class of relic Causative deverbal adjectives in Aramaic, that its original meaning with reference to divine beings is ‘excellent’, and that in Classical Mandaic (and only in Classical Mandaic) it secondarily came to be used as a proper noun referring to an entire category of supernatural beings (‘the excellencies’).



A Proposed New Etymology for in Northwest Semitic *

2017-02-24

Abstract
The term , known from the Hebrew Bible, the Ugaritic corpus, and a sole example from Qumran, has frequently been glossed as ‘eyelids’ or ‘eyelashes’, and thought to be a reduplicated form of the hollow root , ‘to fly’ (the idea being that eyelashes and eyelids ‘flutter’ like wings). This interpretation has been criticized, however, for its unsuitability in a number of cases in which the term occurs, and some translators have offered alternatives that seem to fit the context better (e.g. ‘pupils’, ‘eyeballs’) or avoid the issue entirely through paraphrasing (such as the KJV's ‘dawning’ in Job 3:9). Such translations, however, leave unanswered the question as to how they are related to the idea of ‘flight’.In this paper I propose that is derived not from the hollow root meaning ‘to fly’, but rather from the homograph meaning ‘to be dark, gloomy’ (and is thus similar to the other reduplicated roots related to colours, such as and ). The interpretation of as ‘pupils’ would then have an appropriate etymology connoting their ‘blackness’. This new reading solves a number of problems that scholars have identified with the traditional interpretation.



Some Hebrew Bibles in the Bodleian Library: The Kennicott Collection*

2017-02-24

Abstract
Benjamin Kennicott (1718–83), important Hebraist and librarian at the Bodleian Library, gathered a number of Hebrew Bible manuscripts, kept nowadays in the same library. It is a collection of nine Bibles, six of them of Sephardic origin, two Ashkenazi and one Italian. Until now, the only catalogue of those manuscripts is Neubauer's catalogue of 1886, which obviously does not include codicological aspects. The present work presents an analysis of the collection and its significance for the study of the text of the Hebrew Bible, focusing on the main characteristics of Sephardic codices: a codicological description is offered, as well as the textual aspects of the manuscripts. Special attention is given to the significance of the Kennicott collection.