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A Social History of HebrewIts Origins Through the Rabbinic Period$
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William M. Schniedewind

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300176681

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300176681.001.0001

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Hebrew in Exile

Hebrew in Exile

(p.126) 6 Hebrew in Exile
A Social History of Hebrew

William M. Schniedewind

Yale University Press

The Babylonian campaigns against Judah and Jerusalem severely undermined the scribal infrastructure of the Hebrew language. According to Babylonian documents, some of the Judean administration was taken captive to Babylon. These captive Judean officials likely were responsible for collecting, preserving, and transmitting literary traditions from the Judean monarchy. In general, however, the exile must have signaled the end to the literary tradition of Standard Biblical Hebrew. This chapter argues that literary traditions do not disappear overnight and suggests that the legacy of the Standard Biblical literary language lasted through the sixth century BCE. The Akkadian language might have come into more direct contact with Hebrew scribes during the Babylonian exile; however, it seems that Aramaic was the intermediary scribal tradition that served as a major conduit for Akkadian influence on Hebrew. The sixth century BCE was the end of the Standard Biblical Hebrew.

Keywords:   Babylon, Akkadian, Exile, dispersion, Standard Biblical Hebrew

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