Old Georgian phrases and sentences 18   Leave a comment

Again with the prophets, this time Isaiah. Here is part of the confrontation between the messenger of Sennacherib and the representatives of the people of Judea, where they tell him to speak to them in Aramaic, not in “Judean” in the hearing of the rest of the people (Isa 36:11). The Georgian version (Oški/Jerusalem, ed. Blake and Brière) is notable for having “in Persian” immediately before “in Aramaic”, and also for specifically mentioning the name/title Rab-šāqēh; the former characteristic is unique, as far as I know, and the latter agrees with the Syriac (and Hebrew) text, over against the Greek and Armenian (see below). This Georgian version does, however, have the extended question at the end of the verse, in agreement with the Greek and Armenian. What about სპარს-ებრ (spars-ebr, “in Persian”)? At the risk of seeming harebrained: One wonders if a wandering eye or ear of some Georgian scribe who had before him an Armenian version somehow inadvertently turned the combination of պարսպաւս (parspaws, “the wall”) and the ending -րէն (of ասորերէն and հրէարէն) into Պարսկերէն (Parskerēn, “in Persian”), which would be სპარს-ებრ in Georgian! The possibility may be present, but it is remote; I can, however, come up with no more likely explanation for now.

Here’s the text, with the phrases separated into lines for easy reading.

Isaiah 36:11 (Oški/Jerusalem)

და ჰრქუეს ჰრაფსაკს ელიაკიმ და სომნა და იოაქ˙

ეტყოდე მონათა შენთა სპარს-ებრ ასურ-ებრ.

რამეთუ მესმის ჩუენ.

და ნუ მეტყჳ ჩუენ ჰურია-ებრ˙

და რაჲ სარგებელ არს შენდა სიტყუაჲ ეგე ჰურია-ებრი ყურთა მიმართ ამის ერისათა.

რომელნი ესე წარმოსხდომილ არიან ზღუდეთა ზედა:

Vocabulary

  • ჰრქუეს aor 3p რქუმა to say
  • ეტყოდე pres imv 2s სიტყუა to speak
  • მონაჲ servant
  • სპარს-ებრ in Persian
  • ასურ-ებრ in Aramaic
  • მესმის pres 3s + 1(p) IO სმენა to hear (INV, i.e. “we hear”)
  • მეტყჳ aor iter 2s + 1p IO სიტყუა to speak
  • ჰურია-ებრ in Judean, Jewish (for ჰურიაჲ and its derivatives, cf. Armenian հրեայ, on which see Hübschmann, Armenische Gramm., 309)
  • სარგებელი use, advantage
  • ჰურია-ებრი Judean, Jewish
  • ყური ear
  • ერი people
  • წარმოსხდომილი sitting (cf. წარმოჯდომილი in Sardshweladse-Fähnrich, 1503; both სხდომა and ჯდომა mean “to sit”)
  • ზღუდეჲ wall

For those who are interested, here is the LT in Blake and Brière of the Georgian text:

Et dixerunt ad Hrap’sak Eliakim et Somna et Ioak’: Loquere servis tuis persice, hoc est syriace, quia audimus nos; et noli loqui nobis iudaice; et quid prodest tibi loqui verbum istud iudaicum ad aures huius populi, qui foris sedent super muris?

The words supplied for clarity they put in italics (as in the 1769 edition, but not that of 1611, of the King James Version and its successors). The “hoc est” following “persice” probably goes too far. It’s hard to imagine that Georgian hearers and readers would have heard სპარსებრ ასურებრ and simply equated the two as different names for the same language.

And finally, for convenience, here are the other texts for this verse that were mentioned above.

Hebrew

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֶלְיָקִים֩ וְשֶׁבְנָ֨א וְיֹואָ֜ח אֶל־רַב־שָׁקֵ֗ה דַּבֶּר־נָ֤א אֶל־עֲבָדֶ֨יךָ֙ אֲרָמִ֔ית כִּ֥י שֹׁמְעִ֖ים אֲנָ֑חְנוּ וְאַל־תְּדַבֵּ֤ר אֵלֵ֨ינוּ֙ יְהוּדִ֔ית בְּאָזְנֵ֣י הָעָ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֖ר עַל־הַחֹומָֽה׃

Greek

καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτὸν Ελιακιμ καὶ Σομνας καὶ Ιωαχ Λάλησον πρὸς τοὺς παῖδάς σου Συριστί, ἀκούομεν γὰρ ἡμεῖς, καὶ μὴ λάλει πρὸς ἡμᾶς Ιουδαϊστί· καὶ ἵνα τί λαλεῖς εἰς τὰ ὦτα τῶν ἀνθρώπων τῶν ἐπὶ τῷ τείχει;

Syriac

ܘܐܡܪ ܐܠܝܩܝܡ ܘܫܒܢܐ ܘܝܘܐܚ ܠܪܒ ܫ̈ܩܐ܂ ܡܠܠ ܥܡ ܥܒ̈ܕܝܟ ܐܪܡܐܝܬ ܡܛܠ ܕܫܡܿܥܝܢܢ܂ ܘܠܐ ܬܡܠܠ ܥܡܢ ܝܗܘܕܐܝܬ ܩܕܡ ܥܡܐ ܕܩܝܿܡܝܢ ܥܠ ܫܘܪܐ܂

w-emar elyāqim w-šebnā w-yoʔāḥ l-rab šāqē. mallel ʕam ʕabdā(y)k ārāmāʔit meṭol d-šāmʕinan. w-lā tmallel ʕamman ihudāʔit qdām ʕammā d-qāymin ʕal šurā.

Armenian

Եւ ասէ ցնա եղիակիմ, եւ սովմնաս, եւ յովաք. խօսեա́ց ընդ ծառայս քո ասորերէն՝ զի լսեմք, եւ մի́ խօսիր ընդ մեզ հրէարէն. եւ ընդէ՞ր խօսիս յականջս մարդկանս որ անկեալ կան զպարսպաւս։

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