Friday, April 24, 2009

Biblical Hebrew in Transition: The Language of the book of Ezekiel by Mark F. Rooker (1990)

This book argues that Ezekiel displays a mixture of early and late biblical Hebrew, thus indicating a transition. It begins with a fairly brief discussion of linguistic change, followed by a brief discussion of diachronic reading. The bulk of the book is made up of examples of late grammatical features found in the book of Ezekiel.

There is limited questioning/challenging of assumptions made about linguistic dating or what would be considered late or early Hebrew. The solution to the placement of features that are arguably early in the book of Ezekiel is found in Ezekiel being a book in transition. With all the evidence, the book does a good job of showing the mixture of perceived early and late Hebrew features in the book of Ezekiel - and just appears to be a book in transition. However, questioning whether the compiled data might be indicative of anything beyond transition; thus going further into linguistic dating or beyond the assumptions at the time of its writing, are things this book is, unfortunately, lacking.

disclaimer: This book was read fairly quickly (almost skimming) in search of information helpful for a syntactical analysis of Ezekiel. As such, the reading might not be fair to all of what was happening in this book.

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