Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Sounds of Silence in Biblical Hebrew: A Lexical Study

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Vetus Testamentum

AbstractThis article explores the semantic resources of biblical Hebrew, when it comes to speaking about silence. The aim is to reach more clarity concerning the sense and function of pertinent lexemes, and to contribute to a better understanding of the “semantic field” of silence. It is demonstrated that biblical Hebrew had several verbs with the sense “to be silent” (= abstain from speech), but no noun corresponding to the English word “silence” (denoting a situation characterized by the absence of speech or by the complete lack of audible sounds). However, the domains of silence and stillness overlap. Thus, when the biblical writers wanted to describe a situation of “silence”, they could choose one of several words associated with the wider concept of stillness.

Affiliations: 1: University of Uppsala, Email:, URL:


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Barrado Pedro "“El silencio en el Antiguo Testamento: Aproximación a un símbolo ambiguo.”" Estudios Biblicos 1997 Vol 55 1 5 27
2. Blau J. "“Über Homonyme und angeblich homonyme Wurzeln”" VT 1956 Vol 6 241 248
3. Baumann A. Botterweck J. , Ringgren H. "“ דָמָה dāmāh II”" Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament 1978 Vol vol. III Grand Rapids Eerdmans 260 265 (first published in German [1977] in: Botterweck, J. and H. Ringgren [eds.], Theologisches Wörterbuch zum Alten Testamentvol. II, pp. 278-283)
4. Bois Reiner de Towards a New Dictionary of Biblical Hebrew Based on Semantic Domains Paper held at SBL, 2000 [ , at March 16, 2011]
5. Bois Reiner de "Lexicography and Cognitive Linquistics: Hebrew Metaphors from a Cognitive Perspective" DavarLogos 2004 Vol 3 2 97 116
6. Cohen David Dictionnaire des racines sémitiques ou attestées dans les langues sémitiques 1994 Leuven Peeters Fasc. 4
7. Dahood M. "“Textual Problems in Isaiah”" CBQ 1960 Vol 22 400 409
8. Eidevall Göran Eidevall G. , Scheuer B. "“Horeb Revisited: Reflections on the Theophany in 1 Kings 19”" Enigmas and Images: Studies in Honor of Tryggve N. D. Mettinger 2011 Winona Lake Eisenbrauns 92 111 ConBOTS 58;
9. Levine Baruch "“Silence, Sound, and the Phenomenology of Mourning in Biblical Israel”" JANES 1993 Vol 22 89 106
10. Murtonen A. Hebrew in its West Semitic Setting. Part One: A Comparative Lexicon 1989 Leiden Brill
11. Newsom Carol Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice: A Critical Edition 1985 Atlanta, GA Scholars HSS 27;
12. Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English 2010 8th ed. Oxford University Press
13. Schick G. V. "“The stems dum and damam in Hebrew”" JBL 1913 Vol 32 219 243
14. Torresan Paolo "“Silence in the Bible”" The Jewish Bible Quarterly 2003 Vol 31 3 153 160
15. Torresan Paolo "“Dumah, demamah e dumiyyah: Il silenzio e l’esperanza del sacro nella Bibbia ebraica”" Bibbia e oriente 2004 Vol 46 2 85 101
16. Van der Merwe , Christo H. J. Lemaire A. "Biblical Exegesis, Cognitive Linguistics and Hypertext" Congress Volume Leiden 2006 Leiden Brill 255 280 VTSup 109;

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Vetus Testamentum — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation