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  1. #1
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    Original Hebrew Vowel Sequence

    I read somewhere that Ancient Hebrew used a-u-a as the original vowel sequence for their words, and that later some Masoretes changed it to e-u-a and others to e-o-a. Is anyone aware of this? I have been trying to verify whether the original vowel sequence was a-u-a and have not been successful. If anyone has a source I would like to know of it please.

    Thanks,

    Ron

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregoryfl View Post
    I read somewhere that Ancient Hebrew used a-u-a as the original vowel sequence for their words, and that later some Masoretes changed it to e-u-a and others to e-o-a. Is anyone aware of this? I have been trying to verify whether the original vowel sequence was a-u-a and have not been successful. If anyone has a source I would like to know of it please.

    Thanks,

    Ron
    That's a very interesting question. What is your source? Weingreen's Hebrew Grammar follows the third pattern you mentioned - here is what he says (pg 95):
    There are three types of verb, represented respectively by shamar ('he kept'), kaved ('he was heavy'), and qaton ('he was small'). The distinguishing feature is the vowel in the second syllable of the perfect stem: in shamar it is a, in kaved it is e, and in qaton it is o. These verbs, therefore, fall into three classes, designated as a, e, o.
    I don't see how the pattern a - o - a could work since then we would really only have two classes of verbs.

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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  3. #3
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    "...in Modernized Aramaic block lettered Hebrew with the Nikud (vowel pointing) placed by the Masoretes (transmitters, literally, better known to us as modern scribes, but not Sopherim, which were the more ancient scribes) the sounds were changed from the Paleo-Hebrew. Originally the vowel sequence was a-u-a.

    This was changed by some Masoretes to e-u-a, and some other Masoretes to e-o-a; they themselves not agreeing."
    Page 6

    Unfortunately, I only have the initials of the man who wrote the article. This is the article where I found the quote:

    http://www.loveshalomministry.com/Th...%20Babylon.pdf

    I was researching some information on rendering YHWH and while I do not agree with everything he writes here, I found some interesting points, this quote being one of them. That is why I wanted to know if there was any verification out there about this statement.

    Thanks,

    Ron

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregoryfl View Post
    "...in Modernized Aramaic block lettered Hebrew with the Nikud (vowel pointing) placed by the Masoretes (transmitters, literally, better known to us as modern scribes, but not Sopherim, which were the more ancient scribes) the sounds were changed from the Paleo-Hebrew. Originally the vowel sequence was a-u-a.

    This was changed by some Masoretes to e-u-a, and some other Masoretes to e-o-a; they themselves not agreeing." Page 6

    Unfortunately, I only have the initials of the man who wrote the article. This is the article where I found the quote:

    http://www.loveshalomministry.com/Th...%20Babylon.pdf

    I was researching some information on rendering YHWH and while I do not agree with everything he writes here, I found some interesting points, this quote being one of them. That is why I wanted to know if there was any verification out there about this statement.

    Thanks,

    Ron
    Thanks for the link Ron. There is a lot of good information in that pdf, but I will have to read it all before I can comment on the validity of his conclusions.

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  5. #5
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    Richard,

    I also came across another site which gave some interesting information about the vowels. Here are a couple of quotes:

    "The ancient Hebrew alphabet did have vowel-letters – A, E, I, O, and U which correspond to the sounds “ah, eh, eeh, oh, and ooh” - just like the vowels of numerous modern alphabets. Many of these alphabets evolved out of the "mother" ancient Hebrew, so the mother alphabet must have had vowels also.

    As mentioned previously. In ancient times these letters were formulated from and named after real-life everyday objects that surrounded the nomadic peoples. The names of the vowels were Al, Ea, Id, Oin and Uu. Al was an ox-head, Ea was a man with his arms raised, Id was a hand, Oin was an eye, and Uu a tent peg. These letters evolved into aleph, heh, yod, ayin and vav in the modern Hebrew alphabet."


    And also, concerning whether we need vowel points in order to pronounce Hebrew:

    There was no need for the points because the ancient Hebrews knew that the vowel between all consonants is a default "a" ("a" is the most common vowel point between (true) consonants anyway - for example SHaBaT, HaLaL, etc). Ancient Hebrew had vowel-letters (AL, EA, ID, OIN, UU - aleph, heh, yod, ayin, vav - equivalent to the English A-E-I-O-U).

    I don't know the author, but I believe it is a Jane Marchant, and there are things on this site that I see as error, but some of what she says seems to make alot of sense. Just sharing this as something to consider. The site I got this from is here:

    http://yehspace.ning.com/

    The quotes are a little ways down the page, in speaking about the name of God.

    Also here is a chart illustrating this point:

    http://api.ning.com/files/eW8uDup9Ru..._JEM_8_jpg.jpg
    Ron
    Last edited by gregoryfl; 12-29-2008 at 03:50 AM.

  6. #6
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    And here is another article which shares the same understanding of their originally being 3 letters that acted as vowels for sure, possibly 5, the Aleph, waw, yod, ayin, and hey.

    http://christianparty.net/paleohebrew.htm

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