web analytics
May 3, 2015 / 14 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


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.

Current Top Story
Left wing party Meretz operated a bus line on Shabbat.
Kachlon Says Allowing Public Buses on Shabbat a ‘Social Issue’
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

How do we ensure that our students aren’t studying for the grade or the end-of-the-year pizza party? How can we get them to truly want to learn for learning’s sake?

Kupfer-On-Our-Own-NEW

The message being conveyed is that without “flour,” without the means to support oneself and one’s family, one’s focus on Torah will be impeded by worry.

Respler-050115

Someone close to us knew that you were good at saving marriages and begged us to give therapy one last chance,

Rabbi Pinni Dunner and Holocaust survivor Heddy Orden.

He wrote a strong defense of shechitah in which he maintained that the Jewish method of slaughter had a humanitarian influence on the Jewish people.

New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will be the keynote speaker at the Westchester Government Relations Legislative Breakfast on Friday, May 8, at 7:45 am at the Jewish Community Center of Harrison.  The annual event, which brings together important elected officials and the Westchester Jewish community, is sponsored jointly by UJA-Federation of New York […]

“Like other collaborative members, we embarked on this journey as an opportunity to build on New York leadership’s long commitment to expand and diversify opportunities for Jewish teen engagement,” says Melanie Schneider, senior planning executive with UJA-Federation of New York’s Commission on Jewish Identity and Renewal

The poetry slam required entrants to compose original poetry with powerful imagery and energetic rhythm bringing their poems to life – making it palpable to the audience.

“I was so inspired by the beautiful lessons I learned and by the holiness around me that I just couldn’t stop writing songs!” she says.

But Pi Day is worst of all
I want the extra credit bad
But trying to remember many numbers
makes me sad.

Several thousand Eastern European Jews had escaped Nazi death and Soviet persecution by fleeing to Shanghai, China.

Now that we’re back to chometz, it’s just the right time to give thought to our wellbeing. Who doesn’t want to lose a few bulky matzah-and-potato pounds? Who wouldn’t like to eat smarter and feel better? If you’re like most people I know, these are probably the first things you’d like to address. It’s time […]

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: