The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Upload #65: song from the south

That reading of Arthur Jeffery's "Foreign Vocabulary" continues to reap ears of corn. I have decided that my project "The Retrieval of Joseph" was wrong. The project thought that sura 12 was Egyptian. I no longer think this.

I had recently read Mingana's dismissal of the sura, as entirely ignorant of Egypt. But that's not why I changed my mind. Mingana's evidence was invalid. For real evidence, when I look through Jeffery's collection of the Qur'an's loan-words, there's Coptic in several suras but not in sura 12. There's the argument Mingana should have used.

- Except that there's no modern Syriac in sura 12, either. Instead what I see in sura 12 is a lot of old-school Aramaic, probably looted from the Targum on Genesis; and . . . Ethiopic.

So sura 12 is not Egyptian, and it's not Syrian or Arabic either. It's South Arabian. Yemeni.

I noticed that I hadn't touched the Joseph project since January 2011. I must confess that it was one of those "footnote" projects when I posted it. I was trying to narrow down sura 6. So I whipped this up, alongside the sura 39 project, mainly to get the 6 / 12 and 6 / 39 parallels out of the way. Then I tried to ignore it. Mistakes get made when that happens.

posted by Zimri on 17:22 | link | 0 comments

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