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8 Lexical Features

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Chapter Summary

In a situation different from that of the core Late Biblical Hebrew (LBH) works, characteristically late lexical features in Jeremiah are relatively rare. Post-biblical Hebrew is characterized by a marked tendency to pluralize nouns, often abstract or collective, that tend to come in the singular in BH, for example, חֲסָדִים versus חֶסֶד 'grace/act(s) of graciousness'; גְּשָֹמִים versus גֶּשֶׁם 'rain(s)'; רְמָשִׂים versus רֶמֶשׂ 'crawling creatures'. The book of Jeremiah knows both the singular חַיִל and the plural חֲיָלִים. The Greek shows parallels for all cases of the plural form חֲיָלִים in Jeremiah. In the Greek translation of Jeremiah, significantly, there is no parallel for either of the occurrences of the word חֹר in the Masoretic Text (MT). The honorific use of רַב in Hebrew is most probably an import from Aramaic, its nominalized use in this language being common in various dialects from different historical periods.

Keywords: Aramaic; Jeremiah; Late Biblical Hebrew (LBH); Masoretic Text (MT); Post-biblical Hebrew



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