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The Recovery of the Aramaic Root br' 'to cleanse' and Another Possible Aramaising Rendering in the Septuagint

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image of Aramaic Studies

One source of our knowledge of the Aramaic used in Hellenistic Egypt is the Septuagint, whose translators at times resorted to Aramaic when rendering their Hebrew Vorlage. The present article proposes one such 'Aramaising rendering', in which the Hebrew verb br' pi''el 'to cut down (wood)' was translated as if derived from the Aramaic homonymous root meaning 'to cleanse'. This root, attested in Nabataean, Samaritan, and Jewish Babylonian Aramaic and mistakenly seen as an Arabism in these dialects, is recovered as Aramaic.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Hebrew Language, Faculty of Humanities, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel


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