web analytics
September 20, 2014 / 25 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Title: Lexical Studies in the Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Inscriptions: The Collected Essays of Hayim Tawil


book-lexical-studies

Title: Lexical Studies in the Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Inscriptions: The Collected Essays of Hayim Tawil
Editors: Abraham Jacob Berkovitz, Stuart W. Halpern, and Alec Goldstein
Publisher: Ktav

This excellent, delightful and lucid collection represents some of the best in academic research. Philological, lexicographical, linguistic, epigraphical, cultural, mythological, ritualistic, and historical knowledge are informed by virtuosity in comparative ancient Semitic languages. These erudite studies by the high-powered academic scholarship of Hayim Tawil – a professor of Hebrew languages and literature at Yeshiva University – shed light on Biblical Hebrew, the whole field of Ancient Near Eastern studies, medieval exegetical traditions, and the reception history of the Biblical text from antiquity to the present day.

One rarely encounters such a great breadth, depth, multi-variegated, and diverse interdisciplinary knowledge applied to analysis of the Biblical text – especially from an Orthodox source. The collected essays exhibit precise close readings of the texts’ details, and is fully visionary to reveal the forest for the trees.

The book’s first section contains Tawil’s lexicographical notes, in which he uncovers linguistic nuances by employing comparative Semitic linguistics. The essays on the Hebrew Bible in the second section testify to Tawil’s broad interest in and expert mastery of topics such as the historicity of II Kings, chapter 19 and Isaiah chapter 37, Amos’ Oracles against the nations, citation of bathing in milk in Song of Songs, the many wives of Solomon and his daughter Taphat, the word appiryon in Song of Songs (3:10), metaphors of lions and birds in Isaiah 31:4-5 in light of Neo-Assyrian Royal inscriptions, and legal terminology of the case in Exodus 22:2 (“if the sun has risen upon him”) in light of Akkadian texts from Ugarit. The third section contains Tawil’s work on Northwest Semitic inscriptions that makes a unique contribution to the study of Aramaic idioms. The fourth section contains the Hebrew versions of two articles appearing in this volume.

An example of Tawil’s approach is illustrated in his examination in the context of Song of Songs 8:8-10: “ If she is a wall we will build on her a silver buttress/if she be a door we will close her with a cedar.” Tawil writes, “in order to better understand the author’s choice of metaphors (wall battlement; I am a wall – my breast are like migdalot) as well as their symbolic significance, one should study these architectural terms in the light of their ancient Near Eastern epigraphical and iconographical parallels” (128). While the wall metaphor as suggested by many commentators including Tawil is a metaphor for chastity, Rashi writes that the walls refer to the walls of the Beit HaMikdash and the doors refer to the doors of the synagogues in Yerushalayim. Rashi renders chalil as “a crown” in Shemot 9:6 referring to the French “couronne” (nezer) which is translated chalil by the Targum. Tawil demonstrates that “the author(s) of Song of Songs were indeed cognizant of the architectural symbolism that depicts the battlement which decorates the city wall as ‘a crown worn by queens (131).’ ” Tawil marshals drawings (p.137-142) of reliefs from the ancient Near East of denated crowns, crenellated crowns, and turreted crowns adorning the ramparts of walled cities. The architectural metaphor from Song of Songs is one of fortification in the sense of cloistered protection. Thus the chaste women is likened in architectural terms to an impregnable city.

There are very many other examples of Tawil’s broad scope and knowledge. I highly recommend that academic-minded readers pick up a copy and study them all.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Title: Lexical Studies in the Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Inscriptions: The Collected Essays of Hayim Tawil”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Protest rally against Metropolitan Opera staging Death of Klinghoffer on 9/22 at 4:30 pm at the Met.
For Grass Roots Klinghoffer Protest 9/22, Jewish Establishment MIA
Latest Sections Stories

Three sets of three-day Yomim Tovim can seem overwhelming – especially when we are trying to stay healthy.

Plotkin-092614

Is a missed opportunity to do a mitzvah considered a sin?

Teens-Twenties-logo

The sounds and scents of the kitchen are cozy, familiar, but loud in the silence.

Baim-092614-Plate

Everyone has a weakness. For some people it is the inability to walk past a sales rack without dropping a few hundred dollars. For others, it’s the inability to keep their house organized.

His entire life was dedicated to Torah and he became a pivotal figure in the transmittal of the Oral Torah to the next generation.

When you don’t have anyone else to turn to… that’s when you’re tied to Hashem the closest.

While we all go to restaurants for a good meal, it is dessert, that final taste that lingers in your mouth, that is the crown jewel of any dining experience and Six Thirteen’s offerings did not disappoint.

Today, fifty years and six million (!) people later, Israel is truly a different world.

There will always be items that don’t freeze well – salads and some rice- or potato-based dishes – so you need to leave time to prepare or cook them closer to Yom Tov and ensure there is enough room in the refrigerator to store them.

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

While multitasking is not ideal, it is often necessary and unavoidable.

More Articles from David B. Levy
book-jewish-identity

Published originally in 1965, this reissue of a classic is now more relevant than ever. Jewish law legislates that a child is Jewish if the mother is Jewish, or one who had converted to Judaism according to specific halachic requirements. Jewish identity is thus not merely sociological and demographic (if Jews live in the land of Israel) nor ethnic (differences in customs, folkways, and liturgy and practice of Ashkenazi Jews vs. Sephardic Jews), but rather determined by a maternal hereditary religious blood covenant.

book-red-strings

Rabbi Moses Maimonides (1135-1204) was a halachist par excellence, philosopher, physician, and a political leader of the Jewish community at the ibn Ezra Synagogue of Egypt. Born in Cordovero, Spain and caused to flee a fanatical Muslim sect, the Rambam travelled to Morocco, Eretz Yisrael, Alexandria, and then served as a physician in the court of the Sultan in Cairo Fostat.

This excellent, delightful and lucid collection represents some of the best in academic research. Philological, lexicographical, linguistic, epigraphical, cultural, mythological, ritualistic, and historical knowledge are informed by virtuosity in comparative ancient Semitic languages. These erudite studies by the high-powered academic scholarship of Hayim Tawil – a professor of Hebrew languages and literature at Yeshiva University – shed light on Biblical Hebrew, the whole field of Ancient Near Eastern studies, medieval exegetical traditions, and the reception history of the Biblical text from antiquity to the present day.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/books/book-reviews/title-lexical-studies-in-the-bible-and-ancient-near-eastern-inscriptions-the-collected-essays-of-hayim-tawil/2013/01/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: